- Page Count: 409
- Release Date: September 18, 2012
- My Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads book description:
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
This book definitely took me some time to get into and I wasn’t sure exactly what to make of it at first, but I ended up LOVING the characters so much by the end!
I don’t even know how to explain this story, but here are some basics: Blue lives with a family of psychic women in a cramped, eclectic house that’s described super vividly. On St. Mark’s Eve she sees the ghost or whatever of a boy named Gansey who’s going to die within the coming year. She’s told that she can see him because either he’s her true love or she kills him. And she’s always been told the first boy she kisses will die.
Blue then meets Gansey and a couple of his friends from his rich private school in real life and she gets pulled into their crazy world. Gansey is busy using his endless resources to hunt for the dead Welsh king Glendower who’s supposedly buried on a nearby ley line aaaaand I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN THIS STORY but it just gets better and better (ok no, it peaks in the third book).
I guess you could say there’s an element of magic to the story, but it never feels like outright magic? There are ley lines, energy readings, tarot cards and psychics, trees that speak Latin, and people who pull items from dreams, but it’s all woven into a very realistic rural Virginia setting in a way that feels totally normal. So I think their world feels more like a WASP-ish occult Wonderland than “magic.”
The writing really is what drew me in and made me fall in love with the characters. I love how there’s an awesome story and everything, but the elements that stuck out most to me were super random items or things that come to define the characters. Blue eats a lot of yogurt, Gansey chews mint leaves, Adam wears a coca cola t-shirt, Noah’s all smudgy, and Ronan has his… charming personality. Ha. Ok no his raven too (in future books). Basically the writing is just so detailed that you get an incredibly clear portrait of each character.
And I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS SO MUCH. They really are some of my favorite YA characters. They’re each so wonderfully flawed, brave, uncertain, and determined. Adam grew up in poverty in a trailer park with an abusive father, so he works several jobs to get a good education in order to get out of there. His story was probably my favorite because he feels like an outsider, yet he totally holds the group together. He grows SO much throughout the course of the series and totally broke my heart at times.
The whole find-the-dead-king plot really is more of a fun background story… the main entertainment is watching these wonderful characters interact! I cannot gush about Maggie Stiefvater’s writing enough. Seriously check these books out if you haven’t already!