Book Review: Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys

1:00 pm

It happened, everybody. It happened. I've been sucked into the world of The Raven Boys and I can't get out. My copy of The Dream Thieves is winging its way to me as I write this, never getting here fast enough. (Edit: It arrived just as I finished writing this post!)

Our protagonist, Blue (silly name, good character), comes from a family of psychics but does not possess these powers herself. Instead she can increase the intensity of the psychic power in the space surrounding her, making her a valuable asset when clairvoyance is necessary. Every year she accompanies her mother to the local graveyard to help her communicate with the 'soon-to-be-dead', only this year she accompanies her aunt, and this year is the year she sees one of them. His name is Gansey, he goes to the local private school along with all of the other 'raven boys', and Blue has no idea why she can see him. Blue has also been told by her mother that if she ever kisses her true love, they will die. What is this connection? Is Gansey her true love? Why can she see him? How is he going to die? We're all waiting for her to fall for him when they eventually meet á la young adult fantasy...

And she hates him. He's rude, privileged, and just a bit weird. She much prefers Adam, a quiet scholarship student with a troubled background, and his best friend. Along with these two she also meets the 'smudgey' Noah and abrasive Ronan, who form the four 'raven boys' of the title. They're all involved in a quest of Gansey's involving ley lines, buried kings, and psychic energy, which is how Blue comes to be involved with these boys she has always been told to stay away from.

Now, you may be put off by all of the hype surrounding this series here, there, and everywhere, but honestly, I'm not one to fall for hype and this book absolutely blew me away. I haven't been able to stop thinking about the characters since I put it down; they're crafted in such a way that fleshes them out into real human beings. They have charm and attributes that make them all noticeably different, but not to the point of becoming caricatured 'young adult book characters'. They are all absolute sweethearts and I couldn't help but wish I was taking part in their (admittedly very dangerous and, at times, horrifying) adventure. The plot takes a few chapters to get going, taking time to form these characters and the emotional bonds between them, but when it gets going, it'll grip you right until the last sentence. The story is incredibly unique and successfully dodges every young adult fantasy trope I can think of. There are some truly startling revelations that caused me to actually put the book down in order to compose myself. Maggie Stiefvater is very good at hiding things in plain sight.

If you're looking for a new fantasy series to read and want something light with a really unique plot, you should pick up The Raven Boys. I'm so glad I gave in to this hype because I know this is going to end up being a series I love from beginning to end. Please never end.

M x

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