The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Digital Audiobook narrated by Will Patton
Published by Scholastic Press on September 18, 2012
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 409 pages or 11 hours, 8 minutes
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“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.
What can I possibly say about The Raven Boys that hasn’t already been said? This novel enchanted me. I know that the YA bookish community loves the Raven Cycle, and now I see that they love it with good reason.
Going in, I really thought that this would end up being one of those mushy books where the girl falls in love with a gaggle of boys and has to choose, and two of the boys fall in love with each other, and it’s adorable if that’s the sort of thing you like. I was ready for romance. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I was ready for it. And that, loves, is what happens when a book ends up on your TBR because *sigh* you suppose you should figure out why everyone is talking about it.
Regarding the whole romance marketing? I came across this meme while I was reading and YES:
Looks like the original user is no longer around, otherwise I’d link this! I checked Twitter and Tumblr – no dice.
This is just … so on point. And it was why I loved this book. So first of all I’m going to come out and say: Team Gansey all the way! If someone told me this book was about legends and mythology and history and passionate treasure hunts and MURDER I would have been on board SUCH a long time ago. This book was like… written for me. Not in the same way as Tess of the Road where I saw myself in it and it spoke to me. More like – everything I love is here, please take me to Henrietta.
So all the characters were so well-crafted. I didn’t love all of them. Actually, I sort of hated Adam? But they were all so different and interesting and they all had these big problems (like being dead, in one case) and they never really let them get in the way.
Also can we talk about how huggable Gansey was when he flopped on his bed and said:
“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”
I fully admit it would be creepy if I broke into this world and gave him a big hug, since I’m ten years older than him, but golly someone needs to hug this sweet cinnamon roll. Also: RELATE.
Ughhhhh can I just flop right here now. This is such a nonsensical review. This book was so good. I was falling all over myself with how good it was. The writing was beautiful, but now flowery. It came easily and wrapped you up like a warm blanket. Also I love how Gansey’s car “the Pig” was sort of a character too? How how you knew who the villains were the whole time, but they were still despicable?
I drove to work one day (87 miles) and didn’t even notice the drive because I was walking the ley line with these guys.
Persephone is also adorable and sweet and perfect. I loved her so much.
I started listening to this the Monday before NaNoWriMo started. I loved this book so much, not only am I completely convinced I write with the quality of hot garbage, but also I decided that my main character is obsessed with the Raven Cycle and rereads it every year. This is definitely going to come back and haunt me as I continue on, since I’ve only read the first book. But there’s a whole scene where she connects with a stranger over these books and they get wrapped up in a conversation about why their Raven Boy is wonderful. My protagonist loves Ronan. I feel like I really need to read The Dream Thieves before NaNo ends. As, you know, research.
I just… don’t know what to say. I loved this book, really loved it. I traded an extra copy of Everless for a signed paperback of The Raven Boys on Twitter back in February and I have absolutely no regrets. I know this is not a super helpful review, and I don’t think this book will be for everybody, but if you like history and legends and adventures and death, maybe give it a go?
It’s. Just. So. Good.