Title: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: September 18th, 2014
Genre: Paranormal YA
Synopsis: 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.
It has been a crazy long time since I have done a Throwback Thursday post. Really, I have no excuse outside of the fact that it is the end of the school year and I have been crazy busy with students. For this week, I decided to go back to the start of one of my favorite series, which incidentally will be wrapping up this Fall. I discovered “The Raven Boys,” this past Winter during an epic binge and read all the currently released books. I’m pumped for the next one and also a little weary of the death of my favorite character Gansey. It’s coming. Stiefvater has already confirmed, and it’s just a heartbreaking notion. Anyway, on to the review.
What I liked: I was nervous when I first picked this book up, because usually I like my YA to be chalked full of romance and this didn’t seem to be that type. That being said, I enjoyed that this is more about the story and development of characters than the usually bad boy/good girl routine. I felt like I really engaged with the entire ensemble, which was unusual for me in a group this large. I obviously have a favorite, Gansey, but I enjoyed all the boys, Blue, and her family’s stories. Outside of this, there’s a certain element of mystery surrounding the actual plot of the book. There’s a bad guy, a dead King, and at times I was generally confused as to which plot I should be watching. In the end it all tied together pretty nicely and the sub-plots actually enriched the overall arch of the story. I’m a big fan of any book that adds in elements or folklore and History as seamlessly as this one does, and I’m anxious to get to the final chapter to see where this all goes.
What I didn’t like: Knowing that Gansey will die. The entire time I read, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop on this one, it ended up being super stressful. I couldn’t enjoy the action because I kept waiting for the moment Gansey’s life would end. Gah!
Overall, this is a great entry way into an exciting series. After reading it, I became a huge fan. 4/5