Book #73: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.

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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

I joined a group event on Facebook and Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle is being read this whole month. It took me a while to start this book, but once I did actually have the time to listen to the audiobook, I was hooked.

This book has magic and teen angst. There isn’t a teen who doesn’t have something serious going on. What you think you understand in the beginning is just the surface soil to a more in depth characterization. Each character is an iceberg floating in the ocean in search for an elusive mystical being.

The one thing I really loved was the Southern literature flow. I love Southern Lit. It has a magical quality to the cadence that is both down to earth and almost lyrical. The narrator shows the Southern roots of the book with his different accents for the characters. Another thing I loved is that when a certain character is the focus, he takes on that person’s voice. It really brought me into the world.

The characters aren’t soft. They are angsty, angry, and I think only two may have a more dreamlike manner to them (though one is more morbid than the other). The books center on Blue, an easy to temper female lead, Gansey, a rich dreamer with a mask, Adam, Scholarship kid with pride and poor family life, Ronan, an angry kid with very little smooth surfaces, and Noah, a quiet person who is both endearing and odd. It’s almost as if Steifvater used a writing engine to figure out the character quirks.

I instantly jumped into the second book once I finished this one. And, I have the third waiting (I’m only a few hours away from being done with number 2). This is definitely a book series I’m gushing about all the time.

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