Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #1
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Release Date: July 30th, 2013 (First published in 2012)
Date Read: 6/17/14 to 6/18/14
407 Pages
Rating: 

“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.

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As an impulse buy from online, The Raven Boys completely blew me away. To be honest, I knew I was taking some chances with reading this book. First off, I've never read anything from the supernatural or mystery genre. And second, I avoided other books by Maggie Stiefvater such as The Shiver Trilogy, solely because the blurbs didn't appeal to me.

Well. Fortunately, every doubt I had on whether this would be a good book were thrown out the window.

The Raven Boys starts with Blue, our main main protagonist. I instantly took a liking to her. Not only is she eccentric, and short, but she is surrounded by psychics! I've always been enamoured with the lives of psychics, and Stiefvater (wow her name is so hard to type) does an amazing job in showing me this. The author made it extremely believable (though I'm not saying I don't believe in psychic powers), but what I mean, is that it's not overdone at all.

Basically, the plot of the story revolves around the idea of ley lines and Glendower, the ancient Welsh King that lines on said ley line. Anyone who finds him is granted a favor. So obviously, what better way is there to spend your time? There is none, well according to Ganesy. Also, I'm surprised at how willingly Adam and Ronan go along with this. Without Ganesy, the whole circle pretty much falls apart. Or does it? Dun dun.

Also surprised at how Stiefvater manages to not make this all about the romance. Or the budding love triangle. It's really all about a group of friends, searching for a goal, and solving each other's problems

Even though the book switches POV every chapter, I still got a full story of what was going on. I could see what was happening with Adam and Ganesy, and what they thought about the whole situation. And speaking of characters, SO MUCH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! I loved it! I don't think I've ever cherished any other character more than these. Which is probably why when (spoilers, highlight to read) Noah's rotting body was found on the ley line, I was incredibly confused because I didn't want him to die. But then I realized that nah, he's actually a ghost, and OMG IT'S CZERNY. And then he started to disappear and I was like NO. THAT CANNOT HAPPEN. But then he came back, and everything was okay. End of spoiler. :P


If I were to pick, my favorite character would definitely be.....wow, I started this sentence thinking I could finish it but I can't.

So. Why is this only 4 stars instead of 5? I mean, I really liked it a lot. It was intense, mysterious, and also extremely engaging. Plus Stiefvater writes crazy good. Her sentences pull you right into the story.

Well. It was mostly the ending. And all my questions about it.
MAJOR SPOILERS (highlight to read)
So when Adam gets into the ritual circle, he sacrifices his free will? But he doesn't seem changed when he comes out? WHY? Like I know his personality somewhat changes a little, but I didn't really think so at all. And where did those white beasts come from? And then after all this happens, everything kind of just goes back to normal. Is this resolved in the sequel? DO I GET MY QUESTIONS ANSWERED?

Probably. But I want to know now. boo. 
End of spoilers, again.


So yes. BUT I ENJOYED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Seriously. I do recommend this to anyone who loves a little supernatural mystery (ok maybe not a mystery but close enough). But yeah. All I can say, is that it's really good. Really good.

13 comments:

  1. Great review! I've been wanting to read this series for a while. I love the spoilers-hiding method XD

    Rachel @A Perfection Called Books

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    1. Thanks! I've tried finding a better way to hide my spoilers on blogger, but they've all failed. So this is what I'm left with ahaha

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  2. I have this on my TBR but I was kind of reluctant to read it. Thanks to your review I think I got the encouragement I needed. Great review!

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    1. Wooooo go read it! Be looking forward to your review!

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  3. I so agree that I was confused at the ending too - that was really my only gripe with the book! I seriously loved Blue!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I'm glad there's someone else who agrees!

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  4. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed The Raven Boys as well! I actually HAVE read other books by Stiefvater - her fairy ones....and honestly...I really disliked them. (Love triangles and angst. Rinse and repeat) I also think they're her first books, so it's just amazing to see how much she has evolved as a writer in these books (and I've heard her Scorpio Races books are fantastic too). And YES! I LOVE the way she treats romance in this book! And the next book is very similar in pacing and development (plus you get a little bonus swoon in there without making the book romantic centric). Ahhhh you've just rekindled my excitement for Blue Lily, Lily Blue!

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    1. The fairy ones? I think I've vaguely heard of them but not really. AND LOVE TRIANGLES. They can be good or really really badly executed. I'm glad this one didn't take it over the top :D

      I also really want to read the Scorpio Races! And also buy the Dream Thieves!

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  5. I think I need to implement the spoiler hiding methods you use in my future reviews!

    I've been wanting to read some of her books for awhile and I'm thinking this is a good place to start! Thanks for the review and nudge to get me reading it:)

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    1. Yeah this was definitely a good start (maybe, not sure since I've never read anything else by her). And YAY go read it :D

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  6. My copy of The Dream Thieves is going to arrive tomorrow (unless my postman fails me ... again), hooray.
    I felt the same way about the ending. I just didn’t get it. I read that chapter twice, because I thought I skipped the part where it’s all explained, or I misunderstood some vocabulary, but no, it’s just too confusing.
    But I love all the characters in this book, and I cannot wait to read the sequel!

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  7. I just picked this up at a used bookstore today and an excited to read it! Great review!

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  8. I enjoyed this one, but I didn't like the ending; it made the whole book feel like a lead-in for The Dream Thieves. And now that I've read that second book, I don't know if I'm going to continue with the series. I really wanted to like it, and of course I want to find out what happens with Gansey and the prophecy of his death, but... I had such a hard time getting through Book #2 that I'm not sure I can take any more!

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