fantasy maggie stiefvater mystery review romance the raven boys the raven cycle young adult
The Raven Boys Review || Gansey For Mom Of The Year6:47 PM
Author: Maggie Stiefvater Publishing Date: September 18th, 2012 Series: The Raven Cycle #1 Genre: fantasy, young adult, romance, myst...
Publishing Date: September 18th, 2012
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Genre: fantasy, young adult, romance, mystery
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.
I READ THIS BOOK TWO MONTHS AGO AND I'M JUST NOW REVIEWING IT BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT TO SAY AND I GOT TOO OVERWHELMED TO WRITE IT EARLIER.
*gasps for breath*
All I knew, when I picked up this book, was the reviews generally contained a lot of flailing, and in between the shrieks of fangirling the word "Gansey" often fell out. My thoughts before and after reading this story was- Watch out for Gansey (he'll snatch your heart up) and prepare for the awesome because I fully intend to read the next book in this series.
GOLLY GEE DOES THIS STORY ROCK!
While reading this story I got some major Gilmore Girls and Supernatural feels. Gilmore Girls in the way that Blue was raised by a single mom and they have a more buddy relationship than parental and child relationship. They are very witty too. And then all the boys, and the mythological story-line, reminded me of Supernatural, especially with Gansey's clunker orange car that sounded like a dying growling lion. Also there's a general angsty "family sticks together" vibe. If they make a movie of these books and Jared Padalecki isn't in at least one of them I will be chock full of woe.
Like with The Grisha Trilogy, this story was compelling, but to a higher degree. And unlike the Grisha Trilogy, the characters are thoroughly and thoughtfully and completely developed and full of further potential and growth. I use the Grisha Trilogy as an example because I LOVED that series with all my heart a;lsdkfjasldkf. The world is well developed. I actually have no complaints, entertainment wise or fundamentally, for this book. It was well written. Greatly written. In any other hands this book would have sucked. But in Maggie's hands everything falls together seamlessly and beautifully, and woven and weaven and all the little cogs mesh together (if you read that last bit in the voice of Bob's boss from The Incredibles, then me and you are tight bro)
NOW LET ME TELL YOU WHY IT'S AWESOME! In list form.
Blue has a genuine, understandable distaste for The Raven boys of Aglionby. She isn't irrationally angry towards them or bitchy, it's just, they are the annoying rich kids who think they own the place. She lives in that town. That is her home. She's lived around the rich snobs for years, and they've grown to be an annoyance to her, like gnats in the springtime. I related to that because I grew up in a touristy, old south, area. There were lots of guys in bow ties, loafers, and short brightly colored shorts. They were the rich guys. I didn't have anything against them individually, but as a whole, they're a rather annoying crowd. Long rant short, Blue's distaste for the Aglionby sort was relatable and reasonable.
I like the family in Blue's life. She has her mother, two of her mother's best friends. Orla (a cousin?), and Neeve, her aunt. And they are involved in Blue's life. And her mother doesn't really create rules for Blue. They just live off mutual respect. Maura is the mother, Blue the daughter, but they do their own thing and Blue is responsible. Maura doesn't boss Blue around, but she truly does care for her. And when Maura does forbid Blue from doing something it makes SENSE. Maura only places rules on Blue when she's preventing her from being hurt. She tells Blue not to see someone and Blue is like, "What happened to no rules?" Maura, "I'm not ruling over you, I'm telling you if you do this one thing you will get hurt. If you walk in front of a moving bus, you will get hurt. I'm telling you this guy is a moving bus. Don't see him." (paraphrasing) TALK ABOUT AN AWESOME MOM AND A REALISTIC FAMILY PORTRAYAL. WHOO I LOVE IT.
These kids have the means to go places because they have money. But what I think is AWESOME is that Stiefvater made them REAL. Yes, they are fictional and have lots of money; that means these characters should be practical gods, but NO. What they don't have is time. They are like any other teenagers- they have school, homework, responsibilities. Just because they have money does not give them the freedom to just always go. It's a small detail, but a realistic one that I, as a former student, appreciate that.
The BROMANCES in this story! Gansey is desperately holding Adam and Ronan together. Cue Gansey yelling, "You're tearing this family apart!" Ronan would do anything for these boys, except, you know, pulling his head out of his booty and getting his life together. Adam loves his friends but is desperately trying to maintain independence and not rely on their money. He has his pride or he has nothing. Gansey is a practical mother hen trying to keep all his boys under his wing and baby them and make sure they do all their school work and are safe and go to sleep on time. Gansey for mom of the year.
- Stiefvator is sneaky! You can't trust her! She hides details and hints throughout the story, that you don't pick up on until the big mystery is revealed. She effortlessly pulls you in, makes you trust her, and then she drops the anvil! I love an author who can make me love her, but not trust her.
- The details are chilling in a way that can make you both scared and envious of Maggie's genius.
- "Blue tried not to look at Gansey’s boat shoes; she felt better about him as a person if she pretended he wasn’t wearing them." - I feel ya Blue.
- Neeve is ominous as heck. "Watch for the devil. When there’s a god, there’s always a legion of devils." Big owl eyes. Sips tea. "You have a good day now." I'd like to erase the mental image of Neeve out of my head. She gave me the heebie jeebies.
- THE ROMANCE IN THIS BOOK IS PUT ON THE BACK BURNER! It's definitely there, but it doesn't play a big role. It's shown in the story just enough to let you know it exists and make you ship character's together, but it doesn't hamper the main story with annoying love subplots.
- Gansey being adorably oblivious of how richly snobbish he can be.
- Blue taking nobody's shit in the most gracious way possible.
- Leather bound books spilling over with notes and maps and legends.
- The past coming back to haunt people.
- So much mystery and cliff hangers and magic and incentive to keep reading.
- The gross orange car that's really loud and should be fixed, but rich Gansey is like, "Nah, son, I like this crap car."
- "The trees speak latin"
- Ronan is a troubled anger riddled asshole with a pet baby bird named Chainsaw
This story is just full of wonderful, unique, individually and beautifully developed characters. Maggie paid great attention to the details, and created a gorgeous mystery. The only complaints POSSIBLE, in regards to this story, would be a slow and confusing plot. I didn't personally have these annoyances with the plot, but from other reviews I've read, Slow and Confusing tend to be the major grievances. So if you have read reviews that warn against that, or complain about it, know that it is possible, but I personally found the plot to be EXCITING AND MAGICAL! If you aren't reading this simply because you were warned it was slow, please give it a chance. You might fall in love with it as I did.
If you love mystery, the supernatural, well developed romance, and humor, and family members active in their children's lives, and realistic characters, then this book is a gold mine.