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October 15, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle 1
Format: Hardcover
Excerpt here
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
“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.



At first I thought THE RAVEN BOYS is a fairy tale retelling of The Seven Ravens (Brothers Grimm). Well it wasn’t anything like that German folktale as THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater is a brand new story and despite all the mixed reviews I've read and heard about this, I ended up loving it! THE RAVEN BOYS might not be as emotional as Sam and Grace's werewolf love story (The Wolves of Mercy Falls) but what it lacked in heartrending moments, it made up for an abundance of brotherhood, loyalty and friendship with a hefty dose of paranormal.
If Blue is to kiss her true love, he would die.
Ley lines are a phenomenon that has captured the interest of scientists and laymen alike from around the world. These enthusiasts have recorded strange energy readings and testimonies are universal in saying that the energy emitted from these sacred places are of the spiritual sort. Aside from the human relations MStiefvater is so good at writing, the phenomena of ley lines is the heart of THE RAVEN BOYS. We have an extreme enthusiast in Richard Gansey III, his friends Adam, Noah and Ronan, and the daughter of the town’s Medium, Blue Sargent. Together these unlikely group will venture in the world of Celtic legend, sacrifice, murder and the occult.
Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: one, stay away from boys, because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.
I’ve read mixed reviews about THE RAVEN BOYS and the most common complaint was with regards to the pace. The pace suited me just fine and I liken it to most Literary Fiction books which is probably a bit sluggish for young readers as most YA books start in the middle of a fight or the eve of an important revelation. I think MStiefvater took the “traditional” route and started with character introductions, establishing the setting then laced it with enough mysteries and suspense that led to an adrenalin filled climax ending with a gaping cliffhanger, setting up the direction for book 2. 
“You’re Maura’s daughter,” Neeve said, and before Blue could answer, she added, “this is the year you’ll fall in love.” 



“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love,” Neeve said, “or you killed him.”


You're looking for a god. Didn't you suspect that there was also a devil?...Watch for the devil. When there's a god, there's always a legion of devils.
I enjoyed the characters especially Blue’s mother, Maura and her fellow clairvoyant friends, Orla, Calla and Persephone as well as her step-aunt, Neeve, who I think has some of the best lines and the most intriguing background in the story. The boys are equally interesting reminding me of those preppy boys in Dead Poet’s Society, so curious and very much into the philosophy of life to be bothered by their privileged status. Amongst the four, I think Adam has the best character growth as opposed to Blue and Gansey’s, the latter was a little stunted and whatever romance is supposed to happen between these two is yet to happen. We only see glimpses of a possible future but as far as book 1 of The Raven Cycle is concerned, Blue and Gansey are simply sharing a platonic and surprising friendship. I read one of MStiefvater’s tweets and she said, and I’m paraphrasing, that love triangles are very uncommon especially with teens, however a crush triangle is very plausible. 

Obviously I loved find THE RAVEN BOYS, it looks so simple at first but towards the end the strands of the story became tighter and each character’s loyalty and principles will be tested once it all comes to a head. Here are my speculations: (1) I think Blue’s father is the mythical King,Owain Glyndwr, or Glendower; (2) Neeve is a sorceress of sorts; (3) Adam will end up sacrificing himself to fulfill Gansey’s life’s mission.




18 comments:

  1. I got this from the library last week but haven't started it yet. I'm a little wary because I didn't really care for The Scorpio Races because of the pacing. I loved the sound of The Raven Boys, though, so I'm giving it a try.

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    1. I haven't read The Scorpion Races but as far as the pace is concerned, she built up to it. The books doesn't start in the middle of things (battle, abduction, change) like other YA books but once she's established the premise, it went smoothly. I hope you'll like it.

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  2. Miss B, Wonderful review!! I loved this book too. I have not read Scorpion Races either, I must. This story DID have us thinking it was going one way...then...........which I LOVED!! I loved the quirky Aunts, lol!! They added a nice touch. Loved the boys ALL of them:)

    p.s. I am sure I am allowed to say this...* whispers* Tim is on FIRE!! with Dead Statues I am LOVING it!!!!!!! My lips are sealed but I had to just say that:):)

    I have laughed out loud on many occasions !

    Mich

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    1. I heard! Carolyn Pinard ahoy me an email about something else and she mentioned something along those lines. Cannot wait!

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  3. Great review! I'm definitely planning to read this one.

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    1. Thank you, I hope you end up loving this too!

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  4. Great review! Glad you loved it! It's on my TBR list! :D

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    1. Thank you, I hope you get to read it soon!

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  5. BRAINE! OMG! YOURE REVIEW :O
    I'm so SO excited to hear you loved this! I'm super excited to read it myself, and... well... seriuosly, hearing glowing reviews like this are wonderful! ♥

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    1. I just love her! She understands people well and the pace just became irrelevant to me. I hope you love it too! - Braine

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  6. I have this one on netgalley I wasn't too sure about it but now I am thinking I will give it a try. You know I still need to read the last book in Mercy Falls too.

    Great review!

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  7. Ooh. Nice review, Braine! I've seen this one around. Wasn't too sure if I should pick it up. I love YA but I'm really picky. But, after reading your review, I think I just might pick it up :)

    Ana♥

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  8. I still need to finish the The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, but this book sounds awesome! Something I would enjoy reading. I think I'm going to finish the The Wolves of Mercy Falls series and then get the first book in this series. :) Great review.

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  9. Good review <3 I was thinking of requesting this but never didn't. I'll have to see if the library has a copy in stock.

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  10. Loved the review, I plan on reading this one very soon.

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  11. Lovely review, Braine! I meant to comment on your review a week ago when I first read it, but better late than never, right? =P

    I was on the fence about picking up this book, but after reading your review I think I will definitely be checking it out. I'm very intrigued by the fact that there are ley lines and Celtic legends in the story! I'm glad you enjoyed it! =D

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  12. I've had this book on my must have's list forever now! I've read some great reviews, and of course, some not so great >.< It's definitely intriguing and I love the cover! Great reviews Braine, I'm glad you enjoyed it! ^-^

    Neyra-

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