Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads: "“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."

My Opinion: This book took me totally by surprise since I wasn't expecting as much depth and layering as I got. Let me explain: In most YA books you've got your main characters that start out sort of one dimensional and as the book goes along, they change into a little bit more complex characters with some growth (if you get a good book, that is). But in this book, your main characters (the four Raven boys and Blue) start out multilayered and just get more complex as you go, which was so exciting to read! 

I also loved Blue's extended family, the psychics who all live and work together. What fun they were! I found myself wishing that my family was like them! 

I'd say of the four Raven boys, Adam was my favorite, but Ronan was the one I was the most drawn to and the most curious about. He was so angry but also so willing to stick up for his friends when they needed it because of how angry he was, so it was a double edged sword in a way. Gansey was great, but I just didn't feel as drawn to him as I did to Adam and Ronan. And Noah was a big surprise, which I won't give away here :)

This was a long book but well worth the time it took to read it. This isn't a book you want to fly through - you want to pay attention and savor the whole thing. I've read in previous reviews that the best thing about this book was the characterization, and I have to agree with that, but I also loved the magic in it. It was a different take on it but one that I totally enjoyed, and I can't wait to read the second book in the series when I can get my hands on it!

I give this book a very enthusiastic 5 stars and recommend it to fans of fantasy/paranormal YA with a sprinkling of magic in it :D

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