Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository
Even if Blue hadn't been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble. But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist. This is the year she will fall in love.I finally did it, people, I read my first Maggie Steifvater book! The most embarrassing thing is that I already own 8 Maggie Stiefvater books, without having read any of them and it has been like that for years now. The reason it took me so long to get to one was because I was nervous. The Stiefvater hype is intense, especially when it comes to The Raven Boy series. That hype is really off putting, as I feel it make my expectations skyrocket and I don't want to be left disappointed. And I also don't want to end up being the only person who didn't like this book.
Overall, I actually really enjoyed The Raven Boys and am excited to continue the series, but I will admit that I wasn't as head-over-heels in love with it as all the hype had made me believe I would be. It was really good, but it was also a little long and dragged at times. It is also so very, very strange! I have no idea how I had managed to go so long having zero clue what this book was about but I did, so I was a little taken aback by how utterly strange it all was.
I can't remember now where I saw this but, I saw someone refer to this book as 'a bunch of rich boys with a lot of money and spare time' and that is hilariously accurate. The Raven Boys us about Blue, a girl who lives in a house of psychics and is the only one without powers. She has always been told that if she kisses her true love then he will die. When, for the first time ever, she is able to see the spirit of someone who is going to die, she knows it is because he is either her true love or she will be the one to kill him... Or both. That boy turns out to be Gansey, a Raven Boy, which means someone who attends Agliongy Academy and spends all of his spare time searching for Glendower. Glendower is a Welsh noble, who Gansey believes is buried on a ley line in Henrietta, and who he also believes isn't really dead, just asleep, and can be awoken and then will grant one favour to the person who woke him. Woaaaah, COLOUR ME CONFUSED!!! And let the endless google searches begin as I try to figure out who the hell Owain Glendower is and whatever the hell a ley line is.
Now, if I am being completely honest, the Glendower search did't interest me in the slightest. It would have been way more interesting if we had learnt more of his history or if there had been more truth to the story. The fact remains that Glendower was a Welsh noble and all evidence points to him being buried in Wales. I just felt like a story centering on a Welsh noble should probably be set in Wales. I'm not sure why the decision was made to set it in America, but it is set in a fake town in Virginia, which is where Maggie Steifvater is from, so maybe it is out of laziness and writing what you know, rather than trying to set it somewhere she doesn't know very well. I personally just felt it would have been more interesting if it had been set in Wales.
I want to talk characters now though, as I really enjoyed the wonderful mix of characters here:
Blue: Despite her truly awful name, Blue was a character that I absolutely loved and could really relate to. She wasn't afraid to be herself, act how she wanted and dress how she wanted, without concerning herself with what others thought of her. I also loved how she so quickly decided that all the Aglionby boys were bastards. I highly approved!
Gansey: He is a really interesting character, but not exactly likeable in this book. I hope that he will become a character that grows on me. He just came off as the hopelessly rich boy with way too much time on his hands. His obsession with Glendower borders on the comple
Adam: I really felt for Adam's character, even though he could be utterly frustrating at times. He was the only Aglionby boy who wasn't swimming in money, instead he got in on a scholarship and has to work to pay for his fees. He is struggling with a lot and determined to do it all on his own, without being willing to accept help from anyone. I understood his reasoning but sometimes I just wished he could put his pride to the side and accept help when it came to certain things.
Ronan: He was probably the most fascinating of the bunch. He gets to be the dark, brooding, mysterious Raven boy. The one who has been changed by a big event in his life - his fathers murder and the fact he was the one who found the body. He's not a happy character, nor is he a friendly one. He was fascinating though and really funny, without ever trying to be. The more I learned about his character the more intrigued I became. I am beyond curious to see what becomes of him in the next book.
Noah: Our fourth and final Raven Boy was Noah, a character who lacked any sort of personality whatsoever. He was just kind of always there, in the background, never really doing or saying much. I was suspicious of him from very early on as he was so underdeveloped and nobody else was. I wish his character had been handled better, as it was a little too obvious that there was 'more' to his character.
Not to mention that we had a whole hose of side characters who all had their own unique personalities, especially the other women who lived with Blue.
The story was intriguing and magical and totally weird, and not at all what I had been expecting - although I don't even know what I was expecting. The search for Glendower still seems so weird to me. I felt the story dragged a little at the end but I will definitely be continuing the series.