The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
“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.
(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
A big part of why I read this book was because the cover kept catching my eye. Once I did a little digging, I started reading good things about the book and about the author's previous books, and I decided to pick up a copy. I haven't read any of this author's other books, although I now have Shiver loaded on my Kobo and ready to go, and have a long backlist of titles to catch up on!
This book has a kind of old-fashioned feel to it. I don't know exactly how to word it, but the boys reminded me more than once of Dead Poet's Society type kids, and the writing itself is more stylized and sophisticated than many YA books today. There is something about the way Stiefvater uses description to set the tone of a scene that is immensely satisfying to the reader. I can honestly say that each character evoked an emotional response in me based on the author's descriptive ability. There were supernatural elements that fit seamlessly into a story about teenagers on an adventure, never hijacking the narrative.
Novels written about boarding school or private school students generally have some sort of creep factor involved, and this book doesn't disappoint. I was sucked in right from the start and kept guessing up to the end. Although this is the first in a series, there was some satisfying closure in the first book, with enough of a cliffhanger ending to make me want to continue reading. About that cliffhanger; the author accomplished it with the final sentence at the end of the book. Quite brilliantly, too.
Rating: All Consuming
I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I liked the author's writing style, the characters, the storyline, everything. I had another book slated to read next, and it just may have to get pushed back while I start Shiver. And wait impatiently for the next installment of the Raven Cycle to be released.
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