Title: The Raven Boys
Series: Book 1 in The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal
Format: Gifted Paperback
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
This first installment of this series was, in my opinion, amazing. I thought that the premise of it being about psychics and some huge mystery was actually very unique and exciting. In fact, I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did for some reason, and I’m not sure why.
I thought that the plot itself was driven by the characters and their actions, but also just by the sheer fact that they exist in the universe that they exist in. It’s hard to explain, really, but I thought that the plot kept moving forward, even though some of the slow times, as if those times were purposeful and meant to be there.
At the end of each chapter I wanted to continue to flip the page, to find out more, to have answers to my unanswered questions. I just feel like the plot really delivered, and I think a huge part of that had to do with the characters.
When I first read about Blue, I thought that she was just… different. She, herself, was unique in this unique setting, and I found it to be entertaining where she lived and who she lived with. Her personality was subtle, a little sheltered, but still one that was down to earth and in control of her emotions. She understood more than what many might not, especially given the circumstances for which things were happening. She was strong, but not overpowering, and I thought that she was actually kind of cool in her own way.
Gansey was super formal and tried too hard to please others, I think. He always had a mask on and would only let it slip on occasion, so I’m really interested to see how much that mask falls off later down the road. And even though he was the “leader” of the Raven Boys group, he didn’t really act like he had all of the power and the most money; he was just trying to be helpful. I think part of his personality bordered on innocent, while the rest bordered on, well, an excited teenaged boy on an adventure. I think that he’ll definitely grow in the future books and I’m intrigued to see what happens with him next.
Ronan was the badass of the group, and rightfully so. His whole posture and demeanor screamed “troubled teen,” but he also surprised me in more ways than one. Not only was he a badass with daddy and sibling issues, he also holds dark secrets and he has a soft side. I mean, what more can you ask for? Frankly, I just want to be his friend because he proved himself more than just once in this book that he cares greatly for his friends, even if he doesn’t always show it.
Adam was like the outsider of the group – the one who was raised in a different situation than the rest of the boys – but I think that really humbled him. He was kind and generous, but he also had a lot of moments where his pride took over. I thought that he was trying so hard to be so strong, when really, he was crumbling on the inside. I am interested to see if certain events take place and how he pans out as a character, but so far I like him.
Noah was the super quiet, mysterious one, that you almost forget is that. And, hell, that’s how he’s even described as in the book! I figured out who he was a few chapters before it was found out, and I loved that whole mystery around him. I think that he adds a definite calming aura for the group, as well as just a little bit of light when it’s needed. I hope there will be more of him in the future because he just seems like one of those characters you can’t help but love.
There were also the side characters of Maura, Persephone, and Calla, who were all fun and witty and each their own person and I liked greatly, as well as Neeve, who was mysterious and creepy. And then there was Whelk, who, well… I didn’t really like. I wonder what will happen in future books with some of these characters?
So, all in all, I really loved this book. I only I had a few problems, which were a few typos and the big resounding question of why anyone is actually going along with these things that take place without asking more questions, but alas, maybe those questions will be answered later on, or maybe they won’t. But overall, I think that this was a really enjoyable read and I would recommend this to those who love paranormal, mystery, and books that keep you wanting to turn the page.
I give this book a 4.5/5 stars.