Books, Raven Cycle, Supernatural, YA

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: Book Review

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

Goodreads 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 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.

Commentary: I considered dropping this book, I really did. I really tried reading through this book and my mind kept wandering from start to finish. I have no idea how I finished either, but anyways, this book had a very good plot. I did not enjoy the author’s writing style, that was my main problem. I have to say that the book started to get interesting once I read past 100 pages or so. This story was told in multiple perspectives. The main protagonist is Blue Sargent that lives in a house full of physics, except she isn’t one. Instead, she is more like a battery and she helps the psychics get a better reading. Then there is also Gansey who is Blue’s true love and comes from a wealthy family. He doesn’t show off his wealth and luxuries, instead he prefers the supernatural and is on a quest to search for Glendower. I kept imagining a really huge Hugh Grant whenever I read Gansey’s perspective. What I appreciated about this book was that Blue didn’t immediately fall for Gansey, instead the book focused on their friendship. As a reader, it’s a given that Gansey and Blue will at some point develop romantic feelings for each other. It was interesting that Blue and Adam got together. I didn’t sense any chemistry between them; I felt that they should have been friends rather than be in a relationship. Blue kept rejecting his romantic advances (ex: Adam wanting to kiss her) even though she already knew that Gansey is her true love and not Adam. I’m not sure how it is going to be in the second book. Will it become a love triangle or not? I’m hoping that it won’t become a love triangle. I hope that Blue and Adam just break up without any drama. One of my favorite scenes from the book was discovering that Noah was a ghost. I had a feeling that there was something supernatural about him since I felt he was the least mentioned from the boys, and also because he would never talk about school with them. It was really sad knowing that he has been dead all along, and what is sadder is that none of his friends realized it. I like how it was revealed that his best friend at the time, Barrington Whelk, killed him in order to awaken the ley line, but it didn’t work. Barrington Whelk was wealthy when he was an Aglionby student until his family became broke. The best way to describe Whelk is that he is a man-child. He was spoiled and wanted to be rich again even if it meant sacrificing Noah. The sacrifice ritual did not work for him seven years prior to present. Once he discovered that Gansey was searching for the ley lines, he wanted attempt to awaken the ley lines again. I thought he was a perfect villain for the first book. He is the perfect representation of an Aglionby boy according to how Blue used to see them as. Ronan grew on me because at first I thought he was violent and had anger issues, and needed therapy, but later on its revealed that he cares deeply for his friends and would do anything for them. Now near the ending of the book had me shocked when he says to his friends that he pulled Chainsaw, the raven, from his dreams. What?! I wanted to know more about Ronan’s power, and hopefully there’s more to him in the second book. Lastly, there’s Adam. I liked him, I really did, but then towards the ending of the book I was like “Adam why?” I felt that he was the opposite of Whelk, Adam felt that he had to work hard in order to be successful. He was very prideful and stubborn to accept help coming from Gansey. There was so much going on the book that I can’t even describe it all in one review. It was creepy and scary, but I couldn’t get over how descriptive the author’s writing style was. I did like the plot, and I might continue reading this series just because there are still many unanswered questions such as what happened to Ronan’s father, does Blue’s father have psychic abilities, will Neeve return, what happens to Adam now that he has sacrificed his free will, and so on.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

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