Review: The Raven Boys

 The Raven BoysTitle: The Raven Boys

 Author: Maggie Stiefvater

 Release Date: September 18, 2012

 Publisher: Scholastic

 Description: 416 pages, Young Adult Fiction

synopsis

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 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.

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Of Love And Of Witchcraft

Before reading The Raven Boys, I was admittedly apprehensive of the idea. Besides the fact however, that the synopsis was nothing short of curious and prepossessing, I was drawn to the idea of ley lines and clairvoyance. Should I have been one of the latter, I would have wasted no time on hesitation and simply ravaged on the book instantaneously. Stiefvater, I believe, has more than redeemed herself with this novel, weaving together a world of magic and witchcraft, ultimately winning me over with the thrill of an adventure both titillating and filled with promise. Though at first the unanswered queries were stockpiled and could have rendered me lost in bewilderment more than anything else, I came to realize that the intent of The Raven Boys (and how their lives intertwined with Blue’s) was explained rather comprehensively afterwards, leaving me enamored instead, hook, line, and sinker. The action was fast-paced and electrifying, though decidedly abrupt, and the characters were either likable and accursed, the way they should have been. The writing was impeccable, the plot twists astonishing without reservation, and the book, overall, was enjoyable and spine-tingling, yet deep-seated and emotional, such that it effortlessly became a favorite.

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Privilege and Premonition

Blue Sargent was a very sensible person, whose attributes did not remotely resemble the whiney, foolhardy, and annoyingly single-minded heroines I’ve long since grown tired of. Though I resented (yet imperceptibly so), the fact that she seemed herself to resent Ronan, or Ronan’s presence, or the idea of Ronan’s existence without commensurate reason, I found myself associating this train of thought to the fact that I had an uncanny fondness for the Lynch kid. Though the promise of romance between Blue and Gansey left me somewhat perplexed because it wasn’t given much reference (Blue, in fact, seemed to identify better with a different Raven Boy), I wasn’t bothered enough, because I respected the easy and disinclined way by which Blue’s friendship with each of them grew.Though I could have done with her taking less of what Gansey said to heart, and with offense, I appreciated how ready she was to help, how easy it was for her to reason out and forgive, and how brave it was of her to choose to keep secrets and keep her emotions in check, so as not to risk the lives of the people around her. Blue was definitely an ideal character in my opinion.

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A Sacrifice For Brothers 

The sense of brotherhood and camaraderie in this book was so overwhelming, it was beautiful. Though conflicts arose almost in continuum between the Raven Boys in a relentless clash of intent, I loved how each of them contributed to both strife and resolve, keeping things in equilibrium. Gansey may have been more of a hero than a zero, due to his staggering social status and his royal demeanor, but I grew no less attracted to him, because he was a loyal friend, was quick to help, and strove to give himself a meaningful ambition, despite the fact that he could have most of what a normal kid could want for. Adam was probably the most sweet-natured of the four, and he was the one I could understand and connect with the best due to the circumstances. Noah was an enigma for the most of the book, though the mystery that enveloped his very existence was resolved most fittingly. Ronan, of course, was my favorite, though he was arguably the most reckless, devil-may-care character I’ve so far come across. He was imperfect in many ways, yet hard to please, and the simple complexity of him was enough to draw me to his ideals. Overall, the Raven Boys were an imperfect bunch that needed effort to work well together, but one that always managed to scrape by and have fun, even moreso in Blue’s presence.

“Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.”

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Ghosts From The Past

Though some of the events that unfolded in the book were too bizarre for me to paint a vivid, realistic picture of them in my head, I was completely enthralled by the quest the boys were undertaking. The plot was original yet adequately explained, and the characters were rash, yet charismatic. Though I had to backtrack a few times to completely understand some of the passages, I found myself increasingly fascinated by the relics they sought to uncover. Though the action was positively lacking, and the events seemed to have dragged somewhere in the middle, I myself was not bothered much by this,  because each discovery was more impressive than the previous. I loved how I kept questioning my own beliefs and allegiances throughout the book, and could not satisfy myself without turning the pages fast enough.

Overall, The Raven Boys was mind-blowingly good, and though it would probably bother people who prefer a more fast-paced, no-nonsense read, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a suitable adventure and wouldn’t mind going through it between the pages of an open book.

“My words are unerring tools of
destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.” 

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5 hearts

So what do you think of this book? If you haven’t read it, will you? Sound off in the comments!siggy

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11 thoughts on “Review: The Raven Boys

  1. I’m really glad you enjoyed The Raven Boys! Unfortunately, the struggle was real with this one lol. I didn’t enjoy it because of the writing style and flat characters 😦 I just could not ‘feel’ them; they were like robots! The story was super confusing as well. I really hope I end up liking the sequel. Hope you do too 🙂

    leigh

    • Haha yeah I’m glad too 🙂 But AWWW that you didn’t! I don’t understand how they were robotic, because they felt real to me (Adam especially), but I get how it confused you– sometimes it did me too! But of course, we can’t always like the same things 😄 In that case, I super hope you like the sequel! *crosses fingers*

  2. I love Maggie Stiefvater. She’s so smart. Did you read “The Wolves of Mercy Falls” series? Because those are wonderful, and she made a video talking about why she ended the series the way she did (warning: it’s got a ton of spoilers in it, so if you haven’t read them, don’t look up the video), and it made me a forever fan of hers. (Ha. That’s punny. The last book in the series is titled “Forever.” I didn’t even intend that to have a double-meaning, but it does!).

    • HAHAHA I love Maggie too! I actually haven’t read The Wolves of Mercy Falls, because a lot of people keep telling me they didn’t like, so I’ve gotten apprehensive *sigh* but anyway, the books that I HAVE read that are by her– I think they’re wonderful! the Raven Boys definitely did not disappoint. And oh yeah, she has a book entitled Forever. Nice pun HAHA 😄

      • I think, of everything, I actually liked “The Dream Thieves” the least. You should delve into some of her other stuff! I mean, the series I mentioned is paranormal romance/werewolves… so, if you don’t like stuff like that, it might put you off a bit. But she writes beautifully! And the love interest is so swoon-worthy. 😉 Plus, each book is written in a different-colored ink (blue, green, then red). I’ve not seen any other books do that. Everything she does is just inventive, creative, and lovely.

      • Hmm, I see! I think it’s not enough for me to opine judge based on the opinions of others, so maybe if I have the time I’ll try it out! 😀 Thanks for the recommendation. I agree that Maggie writes wonderfully 🙂

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