Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic on September 18th, 2012
Genres: paranormal, young adult
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“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.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
This is probably going to be a short review because I’m not sure there’s much I can say that hasn’t already been said about The Raven Boys. While it didn’t fully meet my expectations, it was enamored by it all the same. I love these characters so, so much and I am excited to be part of their lives.
I guess I’ll start with the painfully obvious (if you’ve been following this saga on twitter): It took me over a month to read this book. Interestingly, it only took me three days to read the final 200 pages. I honestly almost put it down for good at that point, but some friends gave me the push I needed to get going. I’m glad they did! I was just 10 or 15 pages from the the real “start” of the book. It took so long to get there, though. The pacing was just unbearable slow in the first half. I really liked the characters, but that was almost not enough to keep me slogging through.
Another thing I kind of “disliked” was the writing – but only sometimes. Mostly, it was gorgeous and touched on details you wouldn’t normally think to focus on. However, there was quite a lot of telling about the emotions of the characters. Everyone always “seemed to” be things/think things/feels things. “Seemed” was a word that showed up far too often. Also, things just “started” to happen. It was so passive to the point of grinding the story to a halt. I can’t help but think that this book would have read so much faster if the language had been more active.
Now, it’s so rare when a book can make me feel the way The Raven Boys made me feel. Just, the way these characters loved each other. Reading it just hurt. A good kind of hurt, but painful all the same. I felt so protective and so apprehensive. I mean, so many of my friends have read this series and they basically FREAK OUT about it, so of course I’m scared for all the character. Honestly, I cannot handle anything bad happening to a single one of them. The closeness I felt to the characters is the kind of closeness that’s usually formed after reading a multiple-book series over a period of years. But before page 100 hit, I was already upset and I loved them so much. There just aren’t words for this kind of feeling.
Things about certain characters under the spoiler cut: View Spoiler »I just want to scream Noah’s name for like hours because MY HEART. I was kind of piecing together what happened to Noah, but since I had been reading so slowly, it took me a little while to figure it out. Oh my god. I have never been so sad for a character before! And the end!! I thought he’d be gone for sure and I was so fucking depressed about the funeral. Seriously I am so goddamn relieved he’s “okay.”
One more thing: Adam/Ronan for LIFE. « Hide Spoiler
So, I’m not going to spend any more time on this review because I’m just ready to dive into The Dream Thieves right this second. I loved The Raven Boys, I did, despite the lowered rating because of the passive writing and slow pacing. If it came down to the characters alone, it’d be five stars all the way. If you haven’t read this book yet: believe the hype! Do yourself a huge favor and grab yourself a copy!