Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
Published By: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Page Count: 408
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Netgalley
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

There's something about a book by Maggie Stiefvater... like dark chocolate, I don't need a lot of it to find myself deeply satisfied. Her writing is really a cut above, and I simply can't blast through one of her books in a day in the same way as I can't eat a whole bar of dark chocolate in one go. I like to put it down, wander off, have a think and then come back later. Every book by Maggie seems to get better and better too, and The Raven Boys is no exception to this rule. 

I particularly liked The Raven Boys because this was the first time Maggie has written in the third person, as the narrator, and she is a brilliant one at that. Anyone who has been to one of her signings will know she tells fabulous stories, and this read out like sitting with her in person listening to her tell the story... at times I felt like I could really hear her as she used some of her simply delicious adjectives.  

The book centers around Blue, a young girl who lives with an entire family of psychics. She is used to weird stuff happening, and she takes what they say seriously. So when she was told that she would kill her true love when she kisses him, she made a vow not to kiss any boy, just in case. I felt pretty sorry for her about this, because there were several boys distinctly worth kissing in this book! Blue falls in with a friendship group from the nearby private school, Aglionby. She has pretty much hated the Aglionby boys her whole life, but Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah are a little bit different than the usual suspects who wear the school raven covered crest. These particular raven boys are treasure hunters, who seek a mystical line of power which supposedly runs through her town. 

Blue is able to help them on their quest using a special power of her own, and she finds it exciting to spend time with the boys. She is drawn to them because she can see the real people when the Aglionby masks slip. In their quest to uncover the ley line they discover some weird stuff and it all gets a little spooky! I particularly loved the inclusion of all the ravens... they are great birds, and Ronan's pet raven was too cute. 

As far as the raven boys go, I thought they were interesting and slightly mysterious characters. Gansey is the lynch pin of the group and they all orbit around him; he is the obsessive ley line hunter, and the others are along for the ride. Speaking of rides, his orange Camaro was something that made me smile a lot. I know Maggie has one, and I pictured hers... her love for it certainly came across loud & clear! Ronan is a boy with serious issues, and there isn't a lot to like about him... yet. I think he will come into his own in the future; he is the sort of boy that you might instantly dismiss as a tool, but there are chinks in his armour, and he may yet turn out to by my favorite. Adam has a complete inability to accept how awful his home life is, and he won't let his friends help him due to an inferiority complex which at times was a little irritating. That said, he is a total sweetheart. Noah... well, he was kind of a lurker, but a nice one. 

I really did enjoy this, and I thought there was a fabulous moment where they all discover a real humdinger of a plot twist. I didn't give this five birdies because I didn't laugh or cry, and there was no kissing to suck me in... Blue didn't feel like risking any lives this time. But as The Raven Boys is written as part of The Raven Cycle series, I feel sure there will be some point when I do all of those things and I give a five star rating out. I loved this and I can't wait for the next installment in the adventure!



“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.



29 comments:

  1. I have seen a few great reviews of this one now, I think I must have it!! Great review!

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  2. Looking forward to reading it! I love Maggie's writing too! Sad about the lack of kissing...she usually likes writing kissy-scenes...and she's VERY good at it! ;) Oh well...

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    1. The thinking about kissing scenes were pretty good... :)

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  3. So excited to read a review for this! I haven't read Maggie's books yet, but I'm really looking forward to this one. It sounds like a really unique premise, and four boys? :) Hahaha, great review!

    Randi @ Cardigans, Coffee and Bookmarks

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    1. Maggie's books are fantastic! Not the fastest reads, but definitely satisfying!!

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  4. yay! I'm so glad you liked this one, I'm really looking forward to reading it!

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    1. It was a great book and has set up a really cool series! Thanks for stopping by the nest!

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  5. I can't wait to read this book. I have been wanting to read it for a while and keep hearing wonderful things about by people who have already read it.

    Great review.

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  6. This story sounds interesting with surprise plot twists. However,I'm disapointed to hear ther isn't any kissing! Which brother does she fall for? Do you know how many books are suppose to be in this series! I love reading paranormal romance especially with forbidden romance! I hope she finds away around the horrible prophecy of killing her true love, and find away to be able to kiss him too!

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  7. Yeah, No kissing?! We couldn't get at least one smooch...It doesn't even matter because if Maggie wrote it, it will be worth reading.

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  8. Maggie is such a great storyteller. I have wanted to get my hands on this for a while.

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  9. This book is in the mail and headed towards me right now! Hopefully I love it as much as you did :D

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  10. I did like this one. I'm a fan of Maggie's. But I had a tough time getting into the story. I'm excited to meet the other brothers.

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  11. I've heard great things about this book and I've enjoyed Maggie's other stories, so I'm excited to read it -- hopefully soon!

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  12. This book made my top 10 list for this year, too! I love, love, love Blue, definitely a strong heroine, up there for me with Tris from Divergent and Rose from VA.

    This was actually my first Maggie Stiefvater book and I want to read a lot more, now!!

    Anyway, here's my list: http://booksconsidered.blogspot.com/2012/12/top-10-yana-of-2012.html

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  13. I need to read this. It's sounds like something I'd really like and there's a pet raven :) I'm really looking forward to reading it and I really like the cover. Thanks for the review!

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  14. I wasn't feeling the beginning of this one but by the end I became a fan. Great review!

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  15. I LOVED the book! I loved the characters, who each were completely unique and alive, and I loved the magic and their quest.

    I love the family dynamics in the girl's family and within the boys' group.

    She is a wonderful author!

    Lovely review :)

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  16. I tried reading one of Maggie Stiefvater's other books, but didn't finish it, hopefully this series will be better. Great review

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  17. Hmm, I hadn't realized it was Stiefvater's first time not doing a first person narrative. And you're definitely right, more than one plot twist in this book! I never finished the second book, but I hope to someday.

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  18. I should definitely pick this one up!

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  19. I really enjoyed reading your review. I have heard so many great things about this book that I really need to move it up on my list. :)

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  20. Somehow I ended up with a copy of the sequel. I can't bring myself to really get into it, because I didn't read The Raven Boys first. Now that I've seen your review, I think I should definitely give it a shot!
    Dianna

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  21. I've had my eye on this one for a long time, so I'm really want to read this!

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  22. I've heard so much about this series I practically feel like I've read it! *grin* Hopefully some swoon-worthy romance is developed later on...and she doesn't kill her one true love!

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  23. I listened to this series in the car and loved it. Can't wait for the next book.

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  24. I've been wanting to start this series for forever and I finally bought a copy. Haven't read it yet which I will have to do soon!

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