The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
Series: The Raven Cycle #1.
Published: September 12, 2012.
Published by: Scholastic Press
Source: Won from Young Adult Book Reviews. Thank you!
“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 have to admit, it really took me a while to connect with this novel. I was interested from the very beginning but I wasn't loving it. I'm not entirely sure why, to be honest, but it's possible I had just set my expectations too high. I absolutely loved The Scorpio Races when I read it last year and hoped that I would love this one just the same. I wish I could say that I did love it, but I did at least enjoy it.
I think part of the reason I didn't totally connect was the whole magic aspect. I thought it was a really cool idea, but the way it sat on the cusp of paranormal from Blue's end and magical from Gansey's end just didn't seem to sit quite right in my mind. It almost felt like there was a disconnect between the two that threw me off. Not that I didn't enjoy it or that it didn't interest me, it just didn't enchant me the way the not-quite-real aspects of The Scorpio Races did. I also felt myself waiting to understand Blue's fortune and how it would come to pass, which meant I liked the idea but just wanted it to develop already!
I will say that I really enjoyed the shifting perspectives. While it may have been part of the reason I didn't really connect (because it meant I formed no strong bond to any one character in particular... okay, not entirely true, I did love Adam, one of Gansey's "boys"), it worked well for the plot. There were just so many people involved that it was great to get not only different ideas of the situation but also of the other characters. It really helped to better understand where everyone was coming from, especially because of the way I saw the characters hiding things from one another. There was definitely an interesting dynamic going on, and connections between people that I didn't see until they were plainly revealed, so that was interesting to follow.
Overall, I had gone in with expectations that the book couldn't meet and a brain that didn't want to connect the two otherworldly ideas together. I did, however, find it a very interesting novel and thought the way the characters were presented and revealed definitely kept me reading. I will check out the sequel because I'm curious to see where it goes next and if certain characters can keep themselves together.