Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series or Standalone?: The Raven Cycle #1
Publishing Date: 18 September 2012
““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.”
- suicide joke
- domestic violence/child abuse
- allergic reaction to bee stings (described)
- character death
- character who has a lower SES/is poor
- queer boys (not revealed until later in the series)
I’ve been aware of this book for quite some time, but the synopsis on the cover never really interested me, partly because I was confused by it. However, after so many people I trust raved about it, I decided to give it a go, and I’m so glad I did. I sped through this book, y’all!
I know many people have already read this series, but I’m still going to give a short synopsis for those (like me!) who haven’t touched it. Basically: Blue is a teenage girl whose family is a bunch of psychics. However, she herself has no psychic powers. Every St. Mark’s Eve, she goes with her mother and aunts to a church and speak to the spirits. This time around, though, she sees someone, a Raven boy named Gansey who goes to the local private school. If a non-psychic person sees a spirit, according to one of her aunts, that means they either killed them or they’re their true love. And to put the lovely cherry on top? Blue has been told all her life that if she kisses her true love they would die.
But my goodness, this book is so much more than that because of course Gansey and his friends can’t be, like, normal or something. No, he has to be obsessed with a dead Welsh king, and he has dragged his friends (and eventually Blue) along with him to figure it all out.
To be honest? I didn’t think I was going to like this book as much as I did. But I loved it. Lemme tell y’all why…
First: is found family your thing? Then boy-howdy, this book would probably be your jam. Seriously, the amount of love the boys have for each other and vice versa (eventually including Blue, of course) is phenomenal. I just love all of them! Gansey is definitely the dad of the group, but dear lord, he’s such a dork with his obsession. Adam doesn’t take anyone’s shit, but dammit, he deserves nice things! I have to protect Ronan with my life; sorry, I don’t make the rules. Noah? He just goes with the flow with everything. And Blue! She goes from hating them all to tolerating them (and liking them, but don’t let her know I said that), and I love it.
Blue’s family makes me smile. I dunno about y’all, but I loved every single scene that involved her mother and/or aunts. I mean, granted, I think there was one that’s supposed to be sketchy or something (??? It’s been a minute since I read the book, tbh), but still. This is the quality content I approve of.
There’s barely any plot until the last quarter of the book or so, but you know what we get instead? That sweet, sweet character development. Ugh, I absolutely loved how much this book focused on the characters. It could have easily been swept up into the action of everything with a fraction of the focus on the characters, but instead, a lot of The Raven Boys was settled in the interactions between characters and their inner musings. My utter weakness, as many of you know.
And overall? The writing and story flowed really well. It never seemed to fast or too slow or confusing. Nothing like that. The story just seemed very flow-y, and the way everything happened made complete sense to me. I dunno if this makes any particular sense to anyone outside of me, but it is what it is, lol.
But yeah, I really loved The Raven Boys, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series! Let me know what you think about this book: do you love it? Hate it? Feel meh about it?
Feel free to follow me!
Want to support me or leave a tip? Here’s how!