Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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Summary:

“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.

Review:

It’s Manu here again! I think I’m probably the worst fangirl ever for having only now read this book (what can I say, I’m a rebel). I promise I’m going to catch up with The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue before Christmas!

Anyway, I started reading The Raven Boys with really high expectations because I only heard good things about it; at the beginning I was a little shocked. There are a lot of characters and every chapter is from a different POV, so it was so confusing, I couldn’t get into it. Even though I liked the characters, I had no idea what was going on (I was starting to feel very stupid) but then, BOOM, I started to understand everything and from then on I loved it. There’s a very complicated plot going on, but Maggie managed it brilliantly, with the right amount of plot twists and everything was explained at the right time.

She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.

This is Blue Sargent, and I think this quote explain this character perfectly. She spent her life watching her family telling other people’s future; because she’s a sort of amplifier, so she makes readings easier. She’s been told that if she ever kissed her true love he would die, and she finds out that Gansey is, apparently, her true love and that he’s supposed to die within the year. But she met him, he’s a Raven boy, and there’s no way she’ll fall in love with him (sure, Blue, no way *laughs hysterically*). She’s the kind of person who’s proud of being so different from everyone else, and that makes her a bit standoffish; she’s so sure that all the Raven boys are just rich kids who can’t offer anything more.

Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.

When she meets Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah, though, she’s proven wrong.

I’m still not sure which one of the Raven boys is my favorite, because they’re all so unique and well developed; but let’s start with Gansey.

In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year. They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them.

When I read this scene, I was sobbing like a baby, seriously *hugs Gansey and never lets go* Everyone expects him to be only what he owns. He’s criticized because he’s highly educated and everyone thinks he’s snobbing them whenever he uses difficult words. I think all his interest with this magic stuff, finding the ley line, is only his way of proving that he’s more than that,  to shed the negative stereotypes of rich kids.

The summary is all about this forbidden love, but, honestly, there’s very little about that in the book, and that made me even more curious about the next books (well done Maggie *high five*). There are a few cute scene, and Blue seems more interested in Adam than Gansey at first, but we’ll see.

“You are being self-pitying.”
“I’m nearly done. You don’t have much more of this to bear.”
“I like you better this way.”
“Crushed and broken,” Gansey said. “Just the way women like ’em.”

Adam is the guy that got into the rich kids school thanks to a scholarship; it was a little annoying sometimes how much he played the poor kid among the Raven boys but nothing alarming, I loved him anyway. His relationship with Gansey is so complicated. They love each other, but whenever Gansey tries to help him, Adam is sure that he’s become his pity case and that makes everything way too painful for my poor heart.

“When Gansey was polite, it made him powerful. When Adam was polite, he was giving power away.”

That’s how Adam sees himself, powerless. This is also probably a result of his family problems: his dad hits him and his mom is too scared of her family reputation being compromised to let Adam press charges. But there’s a scene with Ronan that was just *sobs* so amazing.

Ronan, well, I loved Ronan. There’s a lot of mystery around his story, and really, his character. He’s an enigma. We know that his father died, and Ronan, somehow, knows the secret that got him killed. We know that he has a lot of problem with his brother, they fight a lot. But that’s about all. He’s a very difficult character to understand, and that makes him so much more appealing to me!

Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.

About Noah we know very little, and he’s the one who’s always there watching from afar. I think Maggie was really clever handling this character *slow clapping*

It’ll be okay. Gansey told the other Blue. She could tell that he was afraid. It’ll be okay.
Impossibly, Blue realized that this other Blue was crying because she loved Gansey. And that the reason Gansey touched her like that, his fingers so careful with her, was because he knew that her kiss could kill him. She could feel how badly the other Blue wanted to kiss him, even as she dreaded it. Though she couldn’t understand why, her real, present day memories in the tree cavity were clouded with other false memories of their lips nearly touching, a life this other Blue had already lived.
Okay, I’m ready- Gansey’s voice caught, just a little. Blue, kiss me.

This vision was enough for me to ship Gansey and Blue to death (Glue?). I’m going down with this ship, so bring it Maggie! I’m ready for whatever is waiting for me in the next two books. (Not really, please don’t kill anyone *cries*)

Should I be scared? I think I should.

xx Manu

manuela calloway sisters

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