The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Source: Picked up at ALA
Publication date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series: Raven Cycle #1
Summary from Goodreads.com: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is 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 has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, 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 never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
I really wanted to like this book and friends kept telling me it got better (which it did) but unfortunately never really caught my attention. I swear the book moved along at a snail’s pace and was painful to read for the first 150 or so pages. Then it did pick up a bit but I never became invested in the story or the characters. Blue’s character was blah and Gansey almost caught my eye but not quite. For the most part I didn’t really get that the two of them were attracted to each other except for a line or two scattered throughout the book. There were more scenes of Blue being attracted to Gansey’s friend, Adam, but even that was sporadic and never felt like it would go anywhere. I couldn’t stand Adam’s character. I get that he’s from a poor, abusive family and he feels the need to make his own way in the world. I can understand feeling inadequate and resentful of Gansey’s money. What I don’t get is why Adam stupidly refuses help when he really needs it just because of this need to succeed on his own. I don’t see why accepting some help here and there would mean he was a failure. He embodied the statement about someone cutting off their own nose to spite their face.
The story itself felt like it meandered here and there with no real destination in mind and then the end of the book rushes to the climax. The villain was obvious and came across more as a pathetic little child who never grew up. The closing scene with Gansey’s group of friends and Blue felt awkward and left me with no desire to read the next book in the series.
I’m beginning to think Maggie’s books just aren’t for me since I wasn’t all that into Shiver. So if you enjoyed her other books you should probably still check this one out.
Here are the thoughts of others who really enjoyed the book: