Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle #1
Published July 30, 2013 by Scholastic Books
Paperback, 409 pages
Borrowed from library

(from Goodreads because I don't know how to summarize this book.)

“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.

The Raven Boys was not a book I was in the least bit interested in picking up at all. I'd always seen it around the blogosphere - multiple bloggers raving about it but all of that flew way over my head. My friend convinced me to read it though so I was like "Okay, why not? I don't really know what it's about so why don't I give it a shot?" And now here we are... This might be the start of something new, you guys.

I love the clairvoyant/psychic aspect.
So our main character, Blue, comes from a family of psychics. She herself is not a psychic but her family is and one of my favorite parts was being able to get acquainted with all her family and their line of work. I find psychics so interesting and while I don't believe it 100%, I'm not a total skeptic either. Like I wouldn't rule out its existence. The general idea though of being able to be in touch with a person's future and to know the unknown is so fascinating to me and also quite spooky, regardless of whether it's true or not and The Raven Boys didn't help to quench that fascination. If anything, I'd say I'm even more interested especially after learning about things like ley lines and St. Mark's Eve which I had no idea was even a thing. Very, very interesting and definitely one of my favourite parts of the book. 

This book was so gripping.
Usually it takes me a while to really get into a book and determine whether I'll like it or not but the first page for The Raven Boys and BAM I was into it. I could not stop reading after that. Maggie's writing is so wonderful and clear and the story is so interesting. Everything just works so well together that I couldn't help myself. I just had to read on and find out what would happen to the Raven Boys. This book was 400 pages long but honestly it felt like 100 because I was so enamored in it!

I wish there was more development of the characters.
I loved what we saw of the characters. I loved Blue and the Raven Boys and Maura but I also felt like there needed to be more focus on developing those characters. Truthfully they were very one-dimensional for me and while I still adored them, I feel like if there was even more development and exploration of their personalities, it would have made the book even better. I would have beyond loved it!

It took me a while to understand exactly what was going on.
The whole Welsh mythology thing was really interesting but it was so confusing. I felt like it wasn't really explained in a clear way and it took me a really long time to figure out what was going on. Honestly even now, I'm not quite sure why Gansey was on this hunt and why it was so important to him and how he came about it in the first place. Maybe these aren't questions with answers that would be relevant to the story but I'd like to know even for some a greater grasp on Gansey's character.

A solid first book in a series! There was enough about it that I liked and enough about it that was interesting that urges me to continue with the series but there were a couple things that I felt like were missing too. The characters felt a little flat for me and it took me really long to catch on. I also wanted to see more of the Welsh mythology and the whole Blue-Gansey ghost thing which I felt like wasn't even touched on in this book. Really excited to get to the next book though and perhaps get to find out more about everything that was introduced in this book!

people who enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood or The Archived. It's a paranormal-fantasy book set in real time so if you like those type of books, you'll like this! Also if you like slightly spooky books, this is a good one for you.

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