The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys

by Maggie Stiefvater

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.”
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 Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. 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 told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. 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.

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4428
4.5
Book #1 in Series

This is one of those books that you need to read half way through in order to enjoy the other half.. And so I did – enjoyed and loved it.
From the beginning there was something eerie about the action, the characters, all their secrets, the magic binding them all and the prophecies that threatened to tear them apart.

Off course, it took time for the world building to sink in, for the characters to get to my heart, for the action to glue me to my chair with this book in my hand and to make me want to never let it go.
You are cruel, dear Maggie, you made me love this book so much just before the ending came and took away some very close to my heart characters.
How could you? How will I wait for the next book now?

The pack of characters:

1. Blue is our not-so-plain Jane – the girl who doesn’t fit anywhere, too normal in her own home, but too weird in the eyes of the others. I liked her easy friendship with Gansey, her cute relationship with her mother and relatives, the blush on her cheeks when she talked with Adam and the stubbornness to help her raven boys.
I still wonder about the prophecy about Blue’s first love, her first kiss, the boy that might die because of her… there are many things that still need to be revealed and I can’t wait for that to happen.

2. Gansey is  (as we find out from the beginning) either Blue’s true love, or he will be killed by her. Truth being told, I rooted for Gansey with his way of wanting to help everyone. Maybe helping with your money is not the right way, maybe using your power, your name is not the only way.. but he cared for his friends and it hurt when the others didn’t see how much he just wanted to be there for them, to make things easier for them, to even buy their happiness if that was what it would take.. Also he had a borrowed life, one that he didn’t ask for, but it gave him a purpose and it made him maybe a better version of himself.

3. Adam is my favorite raven boy. Am I allowed to have a favorite? I think I do and I cared so much for Adam, for his need to be ‘his own property’, for his hope that things could get better, for just wanting not to owe anything to anyone, for being so sincere and for making me smile with his shy love for a girl that might or might not be .. too ‘young’?. There were some things he said that made Blue blush just a bit and me giggle a bit more, because there is something sweet about a boy loving a girl and not knowing how to put into words what he feels. Knowing Adam was like holding a glass figurine – all smooth lines, but so damn easily breakable. He was a bit too proud to let people help him, but I was glad that his friendship with Roman made him make the right choice.

4. Ronan is the troubled one.
Oh how I resented Ronan at the beginning, I am not even sure why. Half the book I didn’t even like him, but them all changed and I am not even sure at what point. I have a gazillion questions about him, his family, his tattoo, his little bird.. But all I need to remember is how he showed Gansey how to through a punch and how he defended his friend, Adam (when he most needed it), and how he cared for Noah.. and I could go on and on, but I’ll just stop.

5. And then there was Noah..
Oh, poor boy, Noah, he told us his truth but we didn’t have the ears to listen. I must confess that I kind of ignored him. He was there in the background and I never looked his way until I realized that he was standing right in my way. He was there, never really being, and that seems quite ironic at this point.

The plot:

Oh my! Yes, the first half was all about character and world building and it was slow. It’s not like there was nothing interesting happening, but at the beginning everything was so confusing. There were tons of characters with different personalities and stories of their own and it was hard to focus on each one of them and remember all the details. There was so much mystery that I couldn’t get my head around.. but then the light came and everything was so much easier to enjoy.
After Blue joined the raven boys determined to solve the mystery and help Gansey, all pieces started to fit perfectly and that was the moment I realised how much I was enjoying this story.

I loved the past and the present, the timeless wood and the magic surrounding Henrietta and our beloved characters.
I loved the search for the lye lines and the sleeping king (Glendower); and I loved all the secondary characters and their part in the play.
I loved all the clues left behind and how everything fit into the story, I loved all the questions we had and how they haven’t been answered such that we will need to find out more.
And I loved the tiny romantic side of the story – it didn’t take my attention from what was important, but it was just enough to make me smile.

So why not 5 stars?
I had one tiny problem with the writing style. I am not sure if I can explain it but it got to be a bit confusing: You see, I usually love 3rd person narration, but the way it switched points of view (in this particular story) left some room for confusion – maybe you had no problems at all, but sometimes I didn’t know if the narrator was thinking some things OR the characters were.

Anyways, this was indeed a great book, which I liked very much. It is full of magic and intrigue and it can only make you want to read the next one really, really badly. So keep an eye on it and read it if you get the chance ^_^

Happy midnight reading!

Watch the book trailer:

Favorite quotes:

“Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.”

“I hope you still want me to call.”

“All this time she’s been wondering how Gansey might die and it turned out she was going to strangle him.”

“His thoughts crashed explosively across the dirt in front of him, in time with the rhythm of his heart.”

“I’m just warning you. Watch for the devil. When there’s a god, there’s always a legion of devils.”

“People shout when they don’t have the vocabulary to whisper.”

“I’d like to kiss you now, Blue, young or not.”

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LEAVE A COMMENT

  • Annie J.

    I’m super excited to read this.  I really like Maggie Stiefvater.

    • Ari

      This was my first book from her, but it probably won’t be the last, as I pretty much loved it 🙂

      • Annie J.

        Try Lament  I haven’t read her Shiver series but I loved Lament 🙂

  • OMG!!! I’m dying to get this book. It seems everybody love it!!
    Great review as always, I loved all the images, they gave me crazy idea and makes me want to read it asap!
    Happy reading!

    • Ari

      I don’t usually like to add to the hype, but I did enjoy it a lot. 
      The beginning was confusing, but enjoyable, and when I got to understand what was happening and to know the characters better, I simply got to love it. Hope you will as well 😉

  • I’m glad you liked it, even if you had some problems with the writing style. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one! 🙂

    • Ari

      It took me by surprise as well. 
      I didn’t get t read anything else from this author, but I am definitely waiting to read the next book in this series.

  • Sophy

    I can’t wait to read this. Sounds like my kind of book 😀

    • Ari

      Hahaa, well let me know how much you like it after you read it 😉

  • Nice review!

    Lauren
    http://lrjohnson13.blogspot.com

  • Guest

    Hahahahaha, I just saw plain jane and died laughing.
    Ahh, book humor.

    • Ari

      You know you’re becoming a book geek when you start doing what I just did here, he hee!