Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Oh my goodness, The Raven Boys. This book is about a girl named Blue, four boys from a private school called Aglionby, and their adventures together. Blue has been told as long as she can remember that she will kill her true love with a kiss, and when she sees Gansey’s spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, it’s fated that he’s either her true love or the boy she kills (or both?). Blue, Gansey, and Gansey’s three friends eventually band together to find this ancient Welsh king on an energy line. There’s magic and dead things and psychics, which isn’t usually my forte, but the incredibly real characters made everything worth it. Though I’m not reading the next book in the series right away, I’m looking forward to it, because it will feel like reuniting with old friends. Overall, I give The Raven Boys 8/10 in energy points (lol book jokes… because the ley line… energy… ha).

*SPOILER ALERT*

Things I Liked:

  • Maggie Stiefvater’s characters are on point. Everyone is different and everyone has a well-developed backstory. Blue is sassy but worried; Adam is gentle but tragic; Ronan is rough around the edges but tragic; Gansey is pulled together but insecure; Noah is FREAKING AWESOME but ALSO FREAKING DEAD. Without these characters, the plot would have lost me by page thirty. With them, I had a blast.
  • The plot twists kept things going and distracted me from how weird the story really is. The gang is literally looking for a dead Welsh king on an energy line, prompted by Gansey, who died because he’s deathly allergic to bugs but whose life was saved when Noah, who’s been with them as a ghost, died at the hand of their psycho Latin teacher. Crazy, right? But the twists made it feel so surprising that it was almost more believable.
  • The humor in this book was fantastic. Several points in my review notes are just “HAHAHAHAHAHA” because I found myself laughing out loud. The lines that caused these moments, you ask?
    • When Blue’s sass hit me in the face like a sack of bricks: “I am not a prostitute.
    • When Gansey asks how Ronan found out about raven feeding: “Jesus, the Internet, Gansey.”
    • When Blue and Gansey encounter each other for the first time after the restaurant incident: “We had a discussion about alternative professions for women.”
    • When Adam talked about kissing Blue and Blue didn’t want to: “I’m very young.”
  • Blue’s relationship with each of the boys is perfect. She and Adam are total cuties (but see my theories below, because I don’t think that will last). She and Gansey are a little tense, but in a way that makes their relationship feel charged with energy and full of possibility. She and Ronan are pure sass. But my favorite? Blue and Noah. Not romantically, of course, but it’s adorable the way Noah just latches onto Blue. Even when you find out that it was because he was sort of feeding off her energy, I still loved whenever he ruffled her hair or they hugged or anything. Their friendship is just too great.

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • The prophecy about Blue killing her true love with a kiss is just a little bit cheesy. And then she meets Gansey’s spirit and discovers that he’s fated either to be her true love or the boy she kills… Everything on the kiss prophecy front seemed to fit together a little too well.
  • The magic stuff overall was just a little weird. It probably seemed that way because the magic stayed inside the normal world, and I’m used to books where the magic world is completely separate from this mortal one. Dead Welsh kings just seemed like a little bit of a stretch.

Theories:

I predict that Adam is going to become angrier and rougher around the edges, which is going to lead to a break-up between him and Blue. I also predict that we’re going to get to see more of Gansey’s vulnerable side. (That’s it. I’m a sucky theorist.)

The Raven Boys isn’t my usual type of book, but the sass, writing, and especially the characters made everything worthwhile. I’m excited to continue with the series and hopefully check out more Maggie Stiefvater in the future.

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