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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
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The Raven Boys (edition 2012)

by Maggie Stiefvater, Will Patton (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2921406,064 (4.14)108
Member:anthroabby
Title:The Raven Boys
Authors:Maggie Stiefvater
Other authors:Will Patton (Narrator)
Info:Playaway (2012), Preloaded Digital Audio Player
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:in library, young adult, paranormal, new age, ley lines, psychics, Virginia

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
When I picked this book up, I doubted I would like it nearly as much as Shiver. The subject matter didn't seem appealing to me, but I love Maggie's writing style, and trusted that I would like the romance, so I gave it a chance, not suspecting to have any strong feelings for it. Boy, was I wrong. Even though I didn't think I would be too interested in the main plot-line, I found myself easily drawn into it.
Let's start with the romance, since it's initially what I thought would redeem the book for me. When I picked up this book, I thought I knew exactly where it was going to go. Often times, it's easy to map how a romance will play out with only the most basic information. I was delightfully surprised to find that the romance didn't progress the way I thought it would. Additionally, the romance was refreshingly light, especially for a Young Adult novel. The romance that was there was well written and interesting, but this book really wasn't heavy on the romance. It was there, yes, but it definitely took the backseat for the plot, which was a nice change of pace.
I had expected solid, intricate characters from Mrs. Stiefvater, but found myself blown away by the characters in this book. I found them very complex, and enjoyed their intricate backstories. All the characters had many sides and were very realistic and consistent, though they did change throughout the book.
The plot was definitely a dark horse for me. I had thought it would be nothing too interesting at first. Not boring, but nothing special. However, as the book progressed, I found myself on the edge of my seat, flipping through pages with only just enough time to actually read the words on the pages. I didn't always understand what was happening because I didn't have enough time to work things out. It was an understatement to say that I was on the edge of my seat. Not only that, but it was incredibly original. It's based off folklore, and I've never read anything like it before. In a genre where you get a lot of the same things rehashed over and over again, this book was like a breath of fresh air.
In case you couldn't already tell, I have nothing but nice things to say about this book. I could go on and on about everything that I loved, but I won't bore you. Basically, I think this book's the bee's knees, and would suggest that you read it if you even have the slightest interest.
Five out of Five stars
Liked this review and want to see more? Check out my blog: http://themessengerreviews.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-raven-boys-raven-cycle-1.htm... ( )
  TheMessengerReviews | Nov 23, 2014 |
Keep in mind that I read this book right after BEA (MAY 2012) so some of the details are slightly foggy.

I liked:
- The plot twists. I never saw THE BIG ONE coming and it was great. I was surprised and that doesn't happen often when I read books.
- I loved the whole 'in tune with nature' vibe of this book. Ms. Stiefvater has a certain feel to her books and this one certainly has it too.
- The characters. Each was well rounded with flaws and genius of their own.

There was nothing in this book I didn't like except having to wait for the next one. It's like Mercy Falls all over again. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
I cannot express how much I love reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater. She has such a gift for building worlds. The tension between Blue and Gansey is palpable. There is definitely going to be sparks flying in book 2. ( )
  kissedbyink | Nov 14, 2014 |
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Oh hey. So yeah. I did this thing. I read The Raven Boys. And I told absolutely no one. I almost accidentally blurted it out in chat a bunch of times. I also thought about instagramming myself reading over lunch and then realized I was reading The Raven Boys secretly, which I would no longer be post ill-considered Innstagram. However, I remained steadfast and secretive, even once I know, early on, that I was going to like the book. I wanted to be able to have only my thoughts in my head for this one, because there’s so much out there already and I didn’t want the hype to mess with my experience. Anyway, you guys win: The Raven Boys is fantastic.

Sometime after Forever, Maggie Stiefvater grew into the sort of author whose books I can appreciate. I’m not saying her previous books are objectively terrible, because they’re not. They are, however, books I struggled through. I’d mostly given up on Stiefvater’s fiction ever being for me, despite the intriguing premises. But then everyone in the world said that The Raven Boys was so different and The Scorpio Races got a redesign with a cover so pretty I had to own it and Stiefvater released a book about Cole and Isabel. I already read Sinner and noted how different it was and The Raven Boys is similarly a step away from her first five novels. Where the first five have MCs I find, minus one, incredibly boring, The Raven Boys and Sinner are populated by characters of depth and quirk and pain.

The characters didn’t charm me first, though. That was the writing. The Raven Boys is another of those books that should be used to beat down people who sneer at YA as being juvenile and poorly written. We all know they’re wrong of course, but they don’t…yet. If they ever read books like The Raven Boys, we’ll convert them, if they’re capable of being honest to themselves at all. Maggie’s writing is gorgeous and dreamy, in a way that perfectly matches the magical realism of the novel. There are so many quotable quotes that keeping track of all the good lines would fill a good deal of notebook.

Precisely no one has shelved The Raven Boys as magical realism on Goodreads, which makes me wonder if I’m wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t own up to this in a review, because I feel like it could be embarrassing. Personally, I think The Raven Boys walks a line between paranormal and magical realism. I suspect it’s going to tilt on over in The Dream Thieves, but there’s something about the dreamy quality of it and the fact that the magic’s been lying dormant for so long people might not have realized the real world had magic that makes me say magical realism. Does it matter really? No. But I felt like rambling on about it. You’re welcome.

I’d been warned that The Raven Boys was slow and might even be boring, perhaps because people wanted me prepared to not immediately dismiss the book. I didn’t find it to be so at all. It’s a long book, so it took some time to read, but I thought the pacing was good. The plot is a bit hazy at first, but at the end I was left superbly impressed with what had been accomplished. It’s unclear at times because you sort of spiral in on it and the mood is really important. It all just fits together really well, if that makes any damn sense.

I’m sort of at a loss for quite what to say about the characters actually, though I’m sure I’ll get over that. To help me, let’s start with some hilarious misconceptions I got from the things I saw on Twitter or in chats with people who were talking about this series.

I thought this series was about a girl named Blue who had three hot guy friends, two of whom are interested in her. Instead, there are four hot guy friends. HOW HAD I NEVER HEARD ABOUT NOAH?
Because of all the love for Ronan and the spoiler I know about him, I was really shocked to actually meet him. Was not expecting him to be quite so punch-oriented. Again, I would have thought I’d have heard about that.
NO ONE EVER MENTIONED CHAINSAW EITHER.
I totally expected Adam to be similar to his namesake in Shatter Me, based on the dislike I see of him around the internet. He is not.
Blue: I don’t have a great handle on Blue yet. I feel like there’s so much to come from her, like I can sense her coming evolution and character arc, so it’s almost like something’s missing. What I do like about Blue is that she simultaneously desperately wants romance and doesn’t, because dooming your true love with a kiss is way harsh Tai. Simultaneously, Blue does and doesn’t want to have the psychic abilities of her family. She’s like to be either normal or actually able to experience psychic visions herself. Maybe this is why I don’t have a hold on Blue? She hasn’t decided yet what she wants to be, just that she wants something. She herself doesn’t know who she is yet.

Blue’s Family: Freaking fantastic. They’re strange and occasionally creepy, but I love this house of psychics. The dynamic reminds me a lot of that in Practical Magic. There’s a powerful sense of family and community and magic, but they’re also more friends than family members. Maura loves Blue and takes care of her, but she’s not remotely a traditional mother. Blue has as much say in her choices as Maura does. Actually more. I love non-traditional but functional families, and this ones if fabulous.

Adam: Guys, he is so sweet. I know this book is heading for the good ship Gansey, but Adam’s really adorable too. This poor guy has such a shit life and is trying so hard to make his way out on his own two feet. Is it any wonder that he shies away from any sort of dependence when being a dependent has been so horrible? *hugs Adam* His crush on Blue is super cute, but admittedly I’m not exactly on this ship either because a) I don’t really see the chemistry and b) events.

Gansey: He’s kind of an ass. Again, wasn’t really prepared for that. However, he’s an ass who’s really trying to quit being an ass and who has only the best of intentions. Basically, he’s incredibly socially awkward. What’s funny is that nobody really notices how awkward Gansey is because he’s so rich and attractive and intelligent. Everything he does seems intentional, but he’s constantly putting his foot in his mouth. Of course, he also calls Blue “Jane,” which is an intentional dick thing to do, but he is a Dick after all. Also, that makes them Dick and Jane, which hahahaha. Not actually on this ship either, because tragic and because I don’t really see the sparks here either yet. The book does say they’re coming, but I have to wait and see.

Ronan: Ellis’ baby. Someone needs to get this kid some counseling. Gansey’s sort of his mother/psychiatrist/friend and he’s not exactly fit for this role, since he has his own host of issues. Their friendship is touching, as is any moment that Ronan opens up to Adam or Blue. Actually, all of these characters need big hugs. Can I hug all of them? Also, what’s up with Declan? And his dad? I MUST KNOW THINGS.

Noah: Biggest hug of all for Noah. Poor Noah. You’re not as interesting as the other Raven Boys, but I accept you. I’m trying to decide if he has the saddest story and he just might. This character is such an enigma and I’m really curious as to how he’s going to further the plot down the road.

There. My massive attempt to review The Raven Boys is over. The short version is that I thought it was incredible, but I also don’t have the feels. Hopefully, the feels will pile on top of me and destroy me utterly in The Dream Thieves. ( )
1 vote A_Reader_of_Fictions | Nov 13, 2014 |
Another interesting, one-of-a-kind story from Maggie. I have yet to read a book of hers that isn't interesting. Anticipating the next in the series. ( )
  chellebuck79 | Nov 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stiefvater, Maggieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patton, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Deep into that darkness, long I stood

there, wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever

dared to dream before...

~Edgar Allan Poe
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

~Oscar Wilde
Dedication
For Brenna, who is good at looking for things
First words
Prologue: Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.
Chapter 1: It was freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrived.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Walking spirits, true
Love, ley lines and the Welsh king
Owen Glendower.
(passion4reading)
Does Gansey's spirit
On the corpse road mean that Blue
Has killed him? Watch, wait.
(passion4reading)

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Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent's only gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own--and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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