Author: Maggie Stiefvater | Website
Publication Date:September 18th, 2012
My Interest: Hype, Halloween Read
Age Group | Genre: YA | Paranormal, Thriller
I know it’s a little past Halloween, but I read like crazy last week because there are just so many good, creepy books in the YA world right now. Of the stack I devoured, The Raven Boys was definitely my favorite. So I’ve been lingering on this review because words cannot describe my thoughts on this book. Except that I’m terribly mad it is a four-book series, and I have to WAIT for the rest of the story! Seriously though, this was my first go around with Maggie Stiefvater’s work, and all I can say is MIND BLOWN.
Blue Sargent is sort of the odd one in her family–she’s the only one who can’t see beyond or ahead or even predict the next moment. So when she sees the spirit of a teenage boy on St. Mark’s Eve it’s for one of two reasons. Either he is her true love, or she killed him.
Blue is drawn to the boy whose spirit she saw, until she realizes he is a rich student at the local, private Aglionby School. She has a habit of staying away from The Raven Boys because they usually only bring trouble. But after a few, chance encounters with Gansey and his friends Adam, Ronan, and Nate, Blue is swept up into their odd and sinister world full of mystery and magic. Suddenly her lifelong fear of killing her true love (which has been predicted for her since she was a child) seems plausible and problematic. Especially when the boys need her strange power to make spirit energy come alive and she is swept up in their adventure.
I will admit, before I dove into The Raven Boys, I read several reviews because I just wanted to get a glimpse of the collective thoughts. I have a friend who is a huge Stiefvater fan, and her literary perspective seems to be the buzz of the blog world–READ this author.
So I did, and I was sucked into The Raven Boys and swept away just like Blue was.
Wow. That’s really all I have to say of this novel. So, go read it, then we will walk.
Not really. I have waaay too much to say, but this will actually be short because I am in no way giving away ANY spoilers to this book.
First off, I am in love with Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. Wowster. Again. I definitely find her to be in the same realm as Libba Bray for my particular love of writing. I have a background in creative writing, and someday hope to write something, so I appreciate the deepness and beautifulness of Stiefvater’s story. There is truly something about this book that I cannot grasp and explain to you with my writing. She has a way with words that just immediately pulls you into the story, and I feel as if she weaves an intricate atmosphere that held me captive while I was reading. It was as if the minute I sat on my couch and started taking in the story, this bubble surrounded me, I left the world I existed in, and Steifvater’s story literally played out on this bubble screen in front of me and around me.
In other words, I escaped.
This is why I love good writing.
Moving on… the story itself is beautiful. It is rich with history (Celtic history at that! Score!) mystery, confusion, suspense, imagination, and moments that just make the reader go—WHAT?!?! I found this story to be highly original, and I cannot wait to find out more.
As for the characters, I loved them. I found them to be very realistic portrayals of high schoolers, and each one has depth. Stiefvater has a way of pulling in deep backgrounds for each character with miniscule details. But it is the detail, that if missed, would have a reader looking at the character in a completely different light.
Not only do we get dialogue between characters, but we get to see into different character’s thoughts because the story is well-told through multiple point of views. Sometimes POV shifts are really hard to pull off because of disjointed transitions or writers often tell the same moment over again but from the different perspective. Stiefvater uses the POV shift flawlessly, and in a tricky way–she continues to move the plot along without revisiting the same scene. A literary trick, when done well, that speaks highly of the author’s writing capability.
Obviously, I rated this novel a 5. On writing alone, I would want multiple copies of this story in my classroom. But, add in the creative story, strong characters, and mystery, and this pretty much gets a 5+ rating. There is use of language, so if it’s a sensitive issue, beware. The supernatural comes into play for the storyline, but I don’t find it anything to be scared of. It’s more along the lines of creepy-factor rather than graphic horror. If you’re looking for something different or just in need of really good writing, pick this one up!
If you like this novel, you might like….
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
[for ratings system, please check out my Bookshelf]