The Raven Boys

I've read Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys twice before and got the sudden urge to do so again a few days ago. As my reading slump continues, I thought it would be fun to visit a book that I liked, but a series I wasn't too happy with. It actually felt good reading again and it didn’t take me too long to finish this (a feat that hasn’t been archived for some time, let me tell you!)

If you haven’t crossed paths with Stiefvater and The Raven Boys, this is the story about a teenage girl named Blue, her attempts to stay away from the students at the private male high school Aglionby (often referred to as “raven boys”) and how she ended up being best friends with four of them. All her life, Blue, daughter of a psychic and living in a house full of mediums, has been told that she will kill her true love if she kisses him. On St. Mark’s Eve, when Blue is out watching the spirit road with her aunt, she sees a spirit for the first time and is told that if a non-seer sees a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, that’s because she will either be his true love or she will kill him. The person she sees is Gansey and shortly after, an obscenely rich raven boy named Gansey, along with his three freaky friends, walks into Blue’s life and changes it for ever.

If you haven’t crossed paths with Maggie Stiefvater at all, you don’t know that she writes in a rather distinct way. If you have, you will already know that her writing is eccentric, sarcastic and really funny. Stiefvater has a knack of making everything funny if she wants to and that’s how you end up laughing when Gansey is driving his car or when Blue gets ready for school in the mornings. Reading Stiefvater’s writing is like a breath of fresh air. Quite different from what I’m used to, in the best way. She’s also very good at creating flawed, three-dimensional characters that are easy to relate to. They all work together in their quest to find a sleeping king, but everyone has their own arc. Blue is a not a psychic, living in a house full of them and always feeling a little left out. Gansey has a lot of money and spends his life trying to make a wrong right. Adam has no money and spends his life working, trying to get out of the trailer he lives in. Ronan has a secret as dark and scary as his gaze. Noah is freakishly good at finding things and like Ronan, has a secret of his own. They’re all unique and special, making them a group that feels real and that you connect to fast.

There’s a lot of reasons why I like this book, but mainly because it’s very special and not like many novels I’ve read before. The only downside, really, is the rest of the series. The first two novels in The Raven Cycle (The Raven Boys and The Dream Thiefs) was good and I liked the third one, Blue Lily, Lily Blue as well, thought it was slightly different. However, the last one, titled The Raven King, ruined everything for me. Despite that, I still found that I enjoyed The Raven Boys, but I think I'll stay away from the rest of the series for a while. That shouldn’t stop you, however, from enjoying some strangeness from Stiefvater. If you haven’t read The Raven Boys yet, get on it. You might feel differently about the series than I did and even if you don’t, the first novel offers a lot of awesomeness that I think will appeal to a great deal of people!