The Raven Boys
By: Maggie Stiefvater
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.
Okay so this book was a very good book, but it still took me longer than I would’ve liked to read. To be fair, though, I haven’t been reading much lately (I’m still reading Passenger, after 2-3 months, so…. yeah), it’s not like the book was boring or anything, it’s just not very long so I was expecting to read it a bit quicker than I did.
Although I acquired The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater before I bought The Raven Boys, I haven’t read The Scorpio Races yet, but I still plan on doing so because I enjoyed her writing style a lot. Her writing is very unique and she doesn’t over-explain things, nor does she under-explain things. She has found a nice medium between the two that is sometimes hard to find with Young Adult authors. Let’s go on to my actual review now.
I don’t know anything about Welsh mythology whatsoever, which is what this book is based on, so it was interesting to read a book based on something I’ve never read before. These days most books are the same, so it was nice to have a refresher. This book is set in a small town in Virginia (already forgot the name of the town, sorry I’m really bad with that), and multiple times in this book forests and trees have been described, so there was a bit of atmosphere and with the mythology mixed in and slowly developed throughout the book made a nice world, though development could’ve been a bit more extensive than what was given.
Let me just say that these character names are weird, like the main character’s name is Blue. What the heck, Stiefvater? Anyway, at least Gansey’s real name is Richard (or Dick just for laughs), so he is just going by his last name, so it makes sense. Ronan, however, doesn’t have much of an excuse, though he is cool enough to pull it off so I will let it slide. Then there is Noah and Adam. Simple names, so simple in fact that I got them mixed up for a big chunk of the novel. Until something was revealed about one of them (something big).
Overall, I like all the characters in this book. They all have their own motives and storylines and are three dimensional, fleshed out characters who live and breathe just like the rest of us. I like that and I praise Stiefvater for being able to handle all of these characters in this one book with the craftsmanship she did. Even though Blue was the protagonist of this novel, I am still not sure about what kind of character she is or will be. How I usually decide if a character is realistic enough or not is by sorting them into the Hogwarts houses I think they’d fit into best. Yes, you guys all secretly do that, so don’t hide it.
Ronan is either a Slytherin or a Gryffindor to me. He is brave and strong, but is also powerful and determined, making him half Slytherin and half Gryffindor. Adam is a bit more difficult… I would say that he is Hufflepuff but has some Ravenclaw in him as well. He’s hard-working, honest, loyal, and kind. The bit of Ravenclaw he has is intelligience, and calmness. Gansey is more of a Gryffindor than anything, and I think that’s what Stiefvater wanted, for he is basically the leader of the Raven Boys. He’s brave, confident, and arrogant most of the time, as well as passionate about the things he does. I think I will hold off on sorting Noah for now since… well… because of that reveal later in the book. Blue, however, I’m not sure of. Maybe Hufflepuff? I’m really not sure.
So the plot wasn’t very clear to me and a bit all over the place at times but I do know that they are trying to find some sort of dead Welsh King that Gansey believes is actually still alive. They explore magical forests, fly in a helicopter, and all of that great stuff, but in order for a book to get 5 stars from me, the plot needs to be evident and clear and I need to be intrigued just by the thought of it. I am intrigued by the second novel in the series, The Dream Thieves, but that doesn’t mean I was excited looking back at the plot for this book, meaning it sadly won’t be a 5-star rating. But I also can’t give it a 4-star rating because of the entire Blue situation, plus the book started a bit slow.
What did you think of the book? What did you think of my review? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!