The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 4 stars
I got a lot of recommendations to read this book and I've also read lots of good reviews on this book. It seems like that whatever book Maggie Stiefvater writes, it gets tons of good remarks. So, it's not surprising that when I finished this book (quite a while ago now), I re-read the book twice! This is definitely my favourite book by Maggie Stiefvater. I've read some of her other books such as Lament and Ballad (I love Irish folklores), but this one is unique, attention grabbing and immerising.
The thing I found really unique about this book was that although the book is written in third-person narration, Stiefvater had written from four different perspectives: Blue, Gansey, Adam and Barrington Whelk (a slightly more "mysterious" and weird character I suppose). Normally, I dislike changing perspectives so often, but Stiefvater had written it so well that there was no bump between transitions and every perspective was equally entertaining (except maybe Whelk's, I didn't like reading in his mind at all and it was not the author's fault). From reading in each of the character's perspectives, I had insights to their thoughts and understood their feelings more when it changed to another character's POV. It was interesting to read from different angles, especially from Adam's viewpoint. While reading in Gansey's perspective, it is quite hard to see why Adam always seemed so aloof and sometimes even cold and passive. I didn't see how the wheels behind Adam's head turned those times. But I understood him more and more towards the end of the book (though I liked him less and less).
My favourite character in this book was Gansey. At the beginning, I took a dislike to him as he seemed to be a typical spoiled rich boy (especially the car scene). The poshness and the "social mask" he seemed to put on really annoyed me. He felt like an aimless rich boy ("President Cell Phone" Ha!) with a crazy obsession. But then the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. He grew as a character in the book. He learns and trys to correct his mistakes. His interactions with Blue made me laugh out loud. I loved reading about his car, oh that car. I would like to drive it for fun, but probably not everyday, no. I also really liked Blue. Though she didn't strike me as a strong or very smart heroine, she was sensible and caring. It must have been pretty hard on a girl who had been warned over and over again that if she kisses her true love he'll die. As a girl, it would probably seem like nonsense, but getting warned by a house full of psychics even when you get older would just be freaky. She was a tough and willful character. I liked how easily she made friends and the easy relationship she had with the boys. Though I have to say, relationship-wise, I was disappointed with the amount of Gansey-Blue time. Seriously, don't try anyone else (can't say more as I don't want to give anything away). Frankly, that doesn't and won't work (in my opinion anyway).
Surprisingly, I found myself liking Ronan a lot. He's not a character I would usually like, but he's got a sort of vulnerability that makes me curious. He acted one way but probably truly thought differently in his head. The sudden bits of tenderness I glimpsed from him made him even more realistic (yes, he had many faults).
Lastly, this whole book centered around a supernature/psychic/legend/myth theme. It was really different from a typical YA book and I felt really relieved when I read it. It had a generally more aloof and unusual undercurrent to it that I greatly enjoyed. The plot was mysterious and fast moving. I liked getting to know all the characters (and I'm dying to know more), trying to piece together all the clues given to me by the story before actually finding out the 'answer'. The story is written in such a way that the reader seemed to be detached to the plot yet being able to connect with all the emotions and actions of the characters. The writing was a delight to read. There were two things that I thought could be improved a little. The first is that I got slightly confused at a few places, it was hard to keep up with the myths a bit. I thought something could be a little better explained. And there was the connection between characters, I would like to see the relationships between characters become more comfortable and deepen in the next book.
Overall, it was an alluring read and hands down for originality! Can't find anything "newer" than this :D Bravo on Maggie! Can't wait to read the next book in this series to find out more about Blue, Gansey and Co. :)
“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 theShiver 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.