Book Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys (#1 The Raven Cycle)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal, Magic, Fiction
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: September 18th, 2012
Pages: 409 Pages
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover

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.

THOUGHTS:
Just by reading the synopsis for this book, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I expected a story about forbidden love and charming boys. However, continuing into the book, I was pleasantly surprised!

At first, I found it hard to adjust to Maggie Stiefvater’s way of writing, perhaps because I had never read her books before and also very rarely come across third-person omniscient YA novels. However, continuing further on, I was able to read with more ease as I got used to her writing style.

The beginning chapters of the book come from both Blue and the Raven Boys’ point of views. This is just to get you settled into their usual lives and do a little bit of world building as well. However, reading it, I had no idea where the plot was heading. It was really only when Blue and the raven boys had met that the possible plot line started to emerge. Even then, I read through understanding what was going on but not fully grasping the concept of the book because it was something I had never really read about before. Having said that, I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of plot and events, which made it an interesting and unique read.

One of my favourite things about this book would definitely have to be the characters. Blue, which is a unique yet great name for a female character, is a teenager and she was very relatable. She was always very relaxed and reacted realistically to situations and other people. The raven boys: Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah – were all very different but got along very well as a team. All the boys were very charming in their own ways and all had a different approach and relationship with Blue.

I also really liked the romance in this book. Entering the book, I did have an idea of who Blue’s true love would be but as I read further, I was not as certain.
The relationship was built up slowly, especially because Blue cannot kiss anyone (or they will likely die). There was a romantic relationship but it was very casual and oh goodness, realistic. Thank the heavens for a believable yet equally cute relationship.

I believe that Maggie Stiefvater has crafted this story perfectly! She builds the world, plot and characters at a slow but reasonable pace and the story itself is very complexly layered. There are many puzzles that you have to put together yourself but once done, you are left feeling triumphant. This is what good writing is all about! There is a good blend of magic, mystery and intrigue in this story.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Quotes:

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” 

“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.” 

“The fact was, by the time she got to high school, being weird and proud of it was an asset. Suddenly cool, Blue could’ve happily had any number of friends. And she had tried. But the problem with being weird was that everyone else was ‘normal'”.”

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