Friday, April 26, 2013

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #1)

Description 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.

So this is a strange book, but strange in a good kind of way. Strange in the kind of way where I wish there was more. It has a dreamlike quality that works for it, the same quality that Linger and Shiver had. It must be Stiefvater's style. It was written so beautifully and it was hard when it was over. And I liked all the characters even Ronan who tries so hard to be unlikeable. There is something about Gansey's character that he just leaps off the page and I developed a little crush even though that is not something I normally do with fictional characters. Blue is pretty crush-worthy too. She is just a wonderful, strong, fearless girl and she is a great addition to the dynamic of the boys.

There is a lot of mystery going on this book between the ley lines and a boy who was murdered and Adam's home life and Blue's true love. There is a lot of set-up too since this is apparently going to be a quartet of books. But it doesn't feel incomplete like so many first books do. Instead it brilliantly shows the world that Blue and the Raven Boys live in and solves a few mysteries and sets up a few more and includes plenty of other-worldliness and danger in it too.

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