Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Report Monday: The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Synopsis: "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.

(from Goodreads)

Why did I pick it  up?: I liked the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and this was available as an audio book at the library. It was a good length for my drive to and from Boston while I was apartment hunting.

Favorite Lines: “The journal and Gansey were clearly long acquainted, and he wanted her to know. This is me. The real me.”

“How do you feel about helicopters?"
There was a long pause. "How do you mean? Ethically?"
"As a mode of transportation."
"Faster than camels, but less sustainable.”

A Quick Review: I was surprised by how much I liked this book. Not that I had any negative expectations. I had enjoyed her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and The Raven Boys sounded interesting, but I was unexpectedly caught in the clutches of the story. I love when that happens, which is why it's getting ridiculous that I haven't picked up the sequel which just came out in September. I'm sure I will soon, I'm just trying to put a dent in the stack of books waiting to be read on my desk.

Despite the prophecy about Blue's true love in the synopsis,she is not love-obsessed. In fact, Blue tries to stay away from any temptation that she fears could lead to love as she doesn't want to be the cause of anyone's death. A lot of characters, particularly teenage ones, would be intrigued and eager to find love more so because of the danger involved. The prophecy is mentioned throughout the story and as you might expect weighs heavily on Blue's shoulders. I think her decision early on in life-to never fall in love and therefore never be  the cause of her loved one's demise-leaves her free to be more practical about romance and the Aglionby boys, who she joins forces with.

I loved how the story moved between characters and I particularly loved Gansey's voice. His passion for his quest is contagious not only for other characters but for the reader. I was rooting for him the whole time. The quest, which involves finding the tomb of an ancient king requires magic, science, a wealth of historical knowledge and it seems a decent amount of luck. Gansey's approach to the mystery is methodical and not nearly as crazed as he may seem to others who heard about his plans. He breaks the stereotype of the rich, white, prep school guy and earns your respect for being a solid human being, a loyal friend, and an interesting character. I still don't know what he's all about, but I'm eager to find out.

Recommendation: YA Fantasy fans. Fans of Beautiful Creatures will probably enjoy this.

For Next Week: The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf


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