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Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater’s done it again – The Raven Boys is the first in a stunning new series. Don’t wait to read this book – you won’t regret it.

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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the raven boys maggie stiefvater

Title & Author: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fantasy – Psychics, the Occult

Release Date: September 18, 2012

Series: 1st in Raven Cycle Series

Publisher: Scholastic Press

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher

Description:

“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.”

A Masterful Writer Returns

Maggie Stiefvater is a masterful writer. She describes things so beautifully and creatively that the picture she paints is one you remember after you’ve finished and closed her book.

The Raven Boys is her best work yet. I’ve read Shiver and The Scorpio Races by her, and I think The Raven Boys beats them all out.

Her characters are so alive. Take Blue for example – she’s a daughter in a family of psychics who dresses in eccentric crocheted outfits and who has messy hair and is short and sassy. She’s so full of life and character that she felt like someone I knew.

Plus, the descriptions in The Raven Boys are just beautiful. Blue’s mom comes in her room to talk about something serious, and it was described as her sitting “soft like a poem on her bed.” Unexpected and whimsical.

Plus the dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny. I don’t say that lightly either. There is some great back and forth between Blue and her Aglionby boys who have a mystery all their own.

Perspective is Everything

The Raven Boys is told from the third-person omniscient perspective. Sometimes I feel like I lose something in that type of storytelling because you don’t really get an in-depth look at one character’s thoughts, but in the novel this really worked.

The third-person perspective gives you a glimpse into all of the characters lives that they each may not know about. It adds to the heavy helping of mystery in the book and kept things very engaging. It almost read like alternating POV’s.

One of my favorite elements of The Raven Boys is the fact that from the very beginning, Blue doesn’t know if she’s going to kill or fall in love with Gansy. Even though she’s conflicted, she somehow manages to treat him normally. I liked how that’s a part of the overall story, but it wasn’t the main point, per say.

OVERALL

I absolutely adored this book. It’s amazingly written with strong personalities and ethereal magic. The Raven Boys is Stiefvater’s best work yet, and everyone should but this novel at the top of their reading lists.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.