Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Raven Cycle, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Okay, so I'll start this review by being honest: I read this book when it first came out in 2012, and I didn't really like it. But with the publication of the final book, The Raven King, and a lot of my Tumblr followers urging me to give it another chance... I couldn't resist it. (Darn you peer pressure!) So I ordered The Raven King and checked out the first three books from my local library. As it had been quite a while since reading it, I could remember some of it it, but only vaguely. Honestly, it was the plot that did me in.
I'm so glad that I gave this book another chance. I loved the uniqueness of the plot, that was what sold me initially, but what really drove it home for me were two things: Stiefvater's simple but hypnotic, snappy prose, and the characters that she so lovingly crafted. Frankly, everything after that was just gravy. (I know, I know, I don't sound the most impartial, but I loved it!)
Blue Sargent has been told her entire life that if she kisses her true love, he will die. Blue is the 'normal' girl in a family of powerful psychics. When she discovers a young man in the cemetery where she and her mother, Maura, do their annual St. Mark's Eve vigil, she is drawn, however reluctantly, into a quest to find a dead Welsh king, and with it, she befriends four boys: the charismatic, sensitive Gansey, quiet, mild Noah, angry, rough-around-the edges Ronan, and Adam, the boy from the other side of the tracks. And despite herself, Blue and her new friends discover that magic might be so much closer than they could've ever imagined.
Where do I start? I loved the prose--it was so simple and hypnotic and so incredibly funny! I was constantly running the gamut of emotions: happy, sad, full of laughter. And the characters were definitely my favorite part of the book--honestly, it sold me to read the other three, by the time I finished with it. I especially loved the chemistry between all of them, particularly Blue and the boys. The pacing was breakneck, and I was constantly scratching my head at every turn, trying to figure out the twists and turns as the book went on. (I think I drove my husband a little crazy with that... Sorry, honey!)
Stiefvater definitely gets brownie points for originality, too--I didn't know what to expect, exactly, when I first began, but the finished story is definitely something new and fresh, especially considering the young adult market these days. And that ending! God, if I didn't have the next three books waiting for me on my coffee table, I would die! I loved it. Wholly, totally, completely. The Raven Boys has my heart and I simply can't wait to see what's in store! The bottom line: A series debut that I decided to give another chance, The Raven Boys has something for everyone: Magic, diehard friendship, excitement, twists and turns--highly recommended to all! Next on deck: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater!