You Read What? Book Review: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Date Published: September 18th 2012

Format: Hard Cover

Source: Own/Bought

Synopsis:

“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 theShiver 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.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 2

Cover: 

The Raven Boys

I love this cover. The texture of the jacket for the hard cover is awesome. The brush stroke effect of the raven is great and the overall pairing of the title, author name and art makes for a memorable cover.

The Writing Score:  4.5 out of 5

Recommendation: A must read

Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable

Rating:  5 out of 5

Review:

There are two reasons why I read this book: 1) one of my friends kept nudging me in it’s direction with nothing but the excited shout of “Gansey!” as though that in of itself was argument enough and 2) it was the March book for the book club I’m a part of. I still would’ve read it despite the book club thing since I bought it months before.

I normally put off “book club” books until a day before (or day of) our meet up. Risky, I know, but then the upside is that I’ll remember things clearly when it was time for discussion. Not for this book. It was the first time where I read a book for the book club two weeks before the meet up. I’m not mentioning this because I want a pat on the back (but virtual pats are welcome nonetheless) but because I was so engrossed in reading this book that I couldn’t let it go even if I wanted to. First off, the synopsis is a bit deceptive.

This isn’t a story about love although it alludes to be.

It’s not a story primarily about Blue or told through just her POV (Point of View) although it appears to be.

All of these things, if met, would make this a conventional young adult book so you could see my excitement when it didn’t adhere to them.

The writing is beautiful with it’s fresh descriptions. The storyline is a great approach to paranormal that would be great for people who don’t normally read the genre. Blue is a strong female character who isn’t defined by her love of a boy but by her own skills that she brings to the table and her her spunk. Ronan is a character that starts out as nothing but a brute but then transforms into a character that readers start to care about as his layers are pulled back. I saw Adam as adorable and kind but his background and his ambition/ideals make him a character worth having in the book. He adds drama but also the harsh realities of “life” that tends to be overlooked by those of a background of luxury. Gansey, oh Gansey. He was a character that I loved so much. In the sea of bad boy young adult character, Gansey brought the “good boy” front and center. I found him to be endearing, funny, and interesting.

This book isn’t perfect. The writing, although beautiful, had times where imagery or descriptions were repeated a few times which I found to be something that young adult (and popular adult fiction) does a lot. I also had an issue with the women in Blue’s household. There were too many of them and some were unnecessary to the story (i.e. Orna). I did like Persephone and Calla a lot though (Calla especially).

The ending was something that was discussed among our book club. Some didn’t like it but I loved it. It was weird way to end which was why I liked I guess. With that said, I think Stiefvater has a lot of story to tell and I’m intrigued by what book 2 an bring.

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

2 thoughts on “You Read What? Book Review: The Raven Boys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s