The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Paperback, 496 pages
Expected publication: 19th September 2012 by Scholastic
Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.
Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?
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My thanks go to Scholastic for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Raven Boys has probably been one of the most hyped up books this year. As it is being released this week, I thought I had better pick it up and see what the fuss was about! I must admit that I wasn't a fan of Shiver or Linger, though I haven't yet enjoyed any shapeshifter book. Due to the different storyline of this book, I decided to give it a go, despite my reservations.
The Raven Boys tells a story of Blue who lives with her psychic mother and aunts. Blue visits a graveyard on a special night where she can see all of the people who are going to pass over to the spirit world during the next year. There, Blue sees a boy, named Gansey and seems to have a special connection with him. She is told it is because she either murdered him, or he was her true love - she has been told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. The story sounded interesting enough - I am very interested in the paranormal and once I got into the book there was also a lot of talk about ley lines, something that I find fascinating.
I really liked the characters in this book. Our main character, Blue had just the right amount of sass about her - despite living in a psychic-dominated house, Blue knows who she is - she is certainly an individual, with her own thoughts and beliefs. She isn't close-minded which was great. The family around her are interesting and definitely individual too, with quite vibrant personalities. After seeing Gansey, a Raven Boy, at the graveyard, Blue wants to discover more about them.
The Raven Boys are a group of boys who attend Aglionby, a private school. In the beginning, I think that they were made out to be your stereotypical rich and somewhat snobby private school kids - to me, that didn't come across very well but then again I was a private school kid myself. As the book went on, it turned out that the Raven Boys aren't really that stereotypical which I was thankful for. I really come to love Gansey and Adam, I felt I understood them well. Actually, I really enjoyed reading about all of The Raven Boys - the group of boys were certainly likeable and all so very different. They absolutely made the story for me, I could read about them all day. They had history behind them and each had an interesting one at that, particularly Adam and Noah.
Even a few days after finishing this book, I'm still not completely sure how I feel about it. I certainly enjoyed it more than I enjoyed Shiver and Linger. The storyline is quite complex and it was vastly more impressive than The Wolves of Mercy Falls books. I enjoyed the idea, the twists and turns, but for me, Stiefvater's writing was not completely enjoyable. The book dragged on quite a lot and it was a bit confusing at points - though a lot of the detail was understandably necessary to contribute information to the story. Truly, I found things to be a little disjointed and distracting - it wasn't a book that I was eager to keep returning to and it did take me quite a while to read.
I think a lot of people will certainly enjoy this book - it does have positive points and I would like to read more of the series just to find out more about our Raven Boys. I am glad that I picked this one up as I've certainly seen a different, more impressive side to Stiefvater than I previously saw in her earlier books. Even if you haven't been pleased by her previous work, I would urge you to try this one out.