Monday, February 23, 2015

A Vintage Reads Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, 1) by Maggie Stiefvater, September 8, 2012. 416 pages. Published by Scholastic Press. Source: library.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
First Sentence:
Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.

So, after seeing so many people saying good things about Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, I decided to make it one of my secret library reads. And...I was surprised that this overly hyped book and author were actually quite enjoyable. Yes, this is the first time I have read anything by this author; let's just say her first series held zero appeal to me and put me off from trying her later books.

For the most part, I was put off from trying The Raven Boys because the write up made it sound like a typical paranormal romance. Of which I have had more than my fill of over the past few years (like so over them that I don't really read paranormal anymore). Yeah, the synopsis was not exactly calling out to me, so, I avoided this one like the plague. That is until I starting hearing everyone talking about how incredible The Raven Boys was and how it would tear out your heart; yes, it was those tweets that broke down my wall of prejudice against this book.

So, was it worth listening to Twitter's ravings about Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, YES! Oh my gosh, YES! I cannot even begin to tell you how blown away I was by the contents of this book. While the writing was really good and the story quite interesting, it was the characters and the friendships that really made me fall in bookish love with The Raven Boys. Now, if the write-up had mentioned more the camaraderie of the characters in their quest to find an ancient king, well, then I would have been all over this book when it first released. Not just now discovering its awesome little self. Even though I am now regretting not reading this book sooner, I am glad to be starting it with the knowledge that the final book comes out this year.

As to the writing, I was so taken in by Maggie Stiefvater's depiction of Gansey, Ronan and Blue. Seriously those three are what makes this book worth reading. While I did like Noah and Adam, I admit that they were less on my mind throughout the book as the other's really stole the show for me.
   Since this was also my first foray into Ms. Stiefvater's writing I was nervous. Why, might you ask! Because so many people have said nice things about her writing and because sometimes we seem to be on different wave-lengths in bookish tastes. That being said, I thought this was a well set up and plotted book. Her writing definitely pulled me in from the first page and the characters stole tiny pieces of my heart. Yet, it was the idea of them searching for an ancient king and the premise that they could gain something from awakening him that kept me reading on. Personally, it was their individual needs for wanting to find him that really piqued my interest and how, whether he knew it not, Gansey had put together a team that at times reminded me of Oceans 11 with the way they all interacted.

Final Verdict: The Raven Boys- Umm, yeah, this one actually deserves the hype surrounding it. Well written with characters that claw their way into your heart and the search for an ancient king to be awoken,  I'm sure you can see why this was such an interesting read.

The Raven Boys earns
this book was borrowed from my local library; all thoughts are my own.

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