The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys is a book I'd had on my wishlist/tbr since before it came out. Honestly I cannot believe it's taken me this long to get to it and now that I've read it, I'm even more shocked that I even waited at all. I devoured this book, when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it and now that I've finished it the characters and their adventure have taken up permanent residence in my head. I'm left wishing I could disregard any and all review copies to read the sequel right this instant!
Raven Cycle #1
Published September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press
“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.
The Raven Boys starts off by introducing us to it's main characters. Firstly, there's Blue which I connected with straight away. Blue is funky and offbeat but she's also mature for her age and has a good head on her shoulders. She's been surrounded by actual psychics her entire life but as a non-seer herself, she's clearly had a very unique upbringing but she manages to have a level head, even when it comes to romance! She isn't prone to stupid decision making and she wasn't quick to be taken in by the Raven Boys. Yeah, I was impressed and it made me love her even more. She's also really brave and kickass without being too showy or angsty about it, which was a plus.
Then there's the actual Raven Boys, a group of boys who all attend Aglionby, a very private boarding school. Getting familiar with the Raven Boys instantly grabbed my interest. Each of them were fully developed, complex and although they all had their flaws, they were extremely likeable. The best part of it all though was their companionship and loyalty to one another. There's Adam who attends Aglionby on a scholarship and doesn't quite fit into the rich crowd that surround him. There's Gansey, the clear leader of the group - and the heart of it as well. Gansey didn't win me over right away with his blue-blood and smooth words but I'm not sure he was meant to. I kind of felt akin to Blue when she first met him and then he slowly won me over...as he did with her. Gansey is an old soul and a young and gorgeous body, if he doesn't make you swoon at some point in this story, well, I'm not sure what to tell you. Another of the Raven Boys is Noah, who's much more mysterious than the other boys. You don't get to know him as quickly as the other boys but when you do: woah! You will be blown away! His is easily one of the most compelling backstories of the lot. And finally there's Rowan. Rowan is dark, tortured and angry. Rowan has buzzed hair and a tattoo. Rowan lives dangerously and doesn't take sh*t from anyone. And of course, Rowan won me over without even trying. The ending of this one has me mystified where he's concerned which makes me even more excited to get into The Dream Thieves. I freaking love the guy!
The pacing for The Raven Boys is not your typical YA paranormal/fantasy fare. Because this is such a character driven story, a lot of time is dedicated to getting to know Blue and the Raven Boys along with the relationship dynamics that exist between them. I'll admit, this was one of my favorite aspects of the entire read. I love action as much as the next person, and yes sometimes when there's not much going on I can get bored...but this was something else. I was engrossed in the way Maggie Stiefvater revealed these rich characters and the ties that bind them to one another. I reveled in how Blue and the boys met and how they all became a part of each other's lives; slowly and properly - the way things tend to happen in real life. Ah! It was sooooo satisfying to witness it all unfold! That's not to say that the action was lacking though - honestly it was a perfect balance of intrigue, action, and the supernatural. It all worked so well together though that already I feel like this story has always been a part of me.
It seems like an understatement to say that The Raven Boys is a book consumed me. Truly, I was swept away by this town, it's people and it's magic. I want to move to Henrietta and look up Blue, Gansey, Adam, Rowan and Noah so that I too can join their misfit group. This was my first read by Maggie Stiefvater but I can guarantee it won't be the last. I'm thrilled that I have book 2 at the ready - I don't think I'll manage resisting it's pull too long. A huge thank you to Lee @ Rally the Readers for gifting me a copy of this one and putting me out of my misery ♥
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars