Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

81iFWnYVpTLTitle: The Raven Boys
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Paranormal/ Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 409
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 sugar cubes
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository

Summary: “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.
(Summary from Goodreads)

Post-“taste” Review:
Magic, mystery, adventure, romance…this book quite literally has it all and it is amazing! The characters are so alive and endearing that you can’t help but love all of them in their own special way; even when you want to smack them upside the head for making a stupid decision. (I’m looking at you Adam.)

I want to sing this book’s praises from the rooftop I loved it so much! It’s been nearly a year since I read a book that grabbed me right from the start and led me through a twisty, exciting tale.

From the first chapter, despite her oddities, I could immediate relate to Blue Sargent. As the only person in a family of psychics without any psychic abilities she always feels a little out of place. Add to that fact the knowledge that should she ever kiss her true love he will die, she moves cautiously through life. Her rule is “No boys, and absolutely no Raven Boys. They are bastards.” So what is she to do when the spirit of one of these dreaded Raven Boys crosses her path one night, destined to die, and then the flesh and blood boy stumbles into her life soon after?

Help him with his quest of course.

Gansey, filthy rich student of Aglionby private school, has been set upon the path of a quest to find and awake the legendary Welsh king, Glendower, who disappeared in the midst of war, never to be heard from again. After years of obsessive research and study, he thinks he’s finally tracked Glendower to Virgina and with the help of his friends — Ronan, Adam, and Noah — he plans to find him.

Despite being disgustingly rich, Gansey’s obsessive pursuit of Glendower helps to temper his cultured ways and brings him into the realms of engaging characters. You love him, you want him to succeed, you feel his pain and his excitement. Every character ends up being endearing in one form or another, even the angry, misunderstood, abrasive Ronan worms his way into your heart by the end.

Set in a fictional small town in Virginia, you are given a simple yet vivid idea of the town and the surrounding areas. The summer woods, dusty roads, and mountains that make up the settings of the book, giving way to the mythical parts of the surroundings seamlessly. I don’t want to say too much about those parts for fear of spoiling the fun, but just know that Maggie Stiefvater does an excellent job of bringing you into the world and planting you firmly on your feet.

I absolutely loved the story in this and the fact that the legend of Glendower is entirely real. Not him being in Virginia, but he was a real Welsh king. The way that the myths are tied into modern times is great and wholly believable. I felt like I could go hunt down Glendower myself!

My only complaint about the book isn’t even really a complaint, but here it is. At the end of the book, everything is wrapping up beautifully to lead into the next book without leaving any loose ends — until the final sentence. It’s not bad, it’s wonderful! But it was one of the moment where you just yell “Are you KIDDING ME?!” and promptly throw the book across the room only to abort the motion and hug the book, remembering how much you enjoyed every bit of it.

It read the book in one sitting, which is impressive for someone who reads in spurts and sprints. I just couldn’t put it down! I gave it Lisa immediately after finishing it and she did the same thing. This is a series that absolutely everyone must read!

Have you read The Raven Boys? Share your thoughts with us below!



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