Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Standalone/Series: Book one in the Raven Cycle Quartet
Genre: Fantasy – Paranormal – Young Adult
My rating in stars: 3,5 stars
My rating in words: I liked it
What it’s about:
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.
“Have you heard of the legends of sleeping kings? The legends that heroes like Llewellyn and Glendower and Arthur aren’t really dead, but are instead sleeping in tombs, waiting to be woken?”
I did it. I finally started the Raven Cycle, the series that has been taunting me for months, screaming at me to just read it already. This was a really intimidating series for me to start, because it is super hyped and has all these glowing reviews. So my expectations were extremely high, which of course had me wondering “What if I don’t like it?”
And honestly, for the first part of the book I really thought I would end up not loving it. It was slow paced, it had a writing style that took me some time getting used to and I just didn’t like the characters all that much. I know, the characters. The one thing people were raving about.
So while I was wondering what was wrong with me, I just kept on reading anyway. And then we get to the point where Blue is becoming friends with her Raven Boys and all of a sudden… I felt the magic happen. Just like how it felt like for the characters, I felt like everything was clicking into place. Like this was the way it was always meant to be. And I sped through the rest of the book and found myself obsessed.
“She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness. It was the way she felt when she looked at the stars.”
The number one reason for that love and obsession is definitely (as everyone was already saying way before me) the characters and their friendship. I’m a big sucker for friendships in books and this has one of the best ones I’ve ever read. The way these boys all love each other, the way they all love Blue, the way Blue loves each and every one of them. And this is only the beginning, so I can’t wait to read more. More about Gansey, the old soul in the body of a young, rich and obsessed teenage boy. More about Adam, the scholarship student who values his freedom above all else. About Ronan, the troubled one with edges people cut themselves on. About Noah, the mysterious cinnamon roll. And about Blue, the eccentric girl who is looking for magic and has grown up believing she will kill her true love.
“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.”
Though the friendship is definitely the main reason I loved this book, all the character interactions in general were just amazing. We have family dynamics with Blue and her big house filled with psychic relatives and friends. I loved their scenes so much and I’m only a little sad that we didn’t get more of them. And then we also have the romance, which is pretty low key in this book but I already feel the promise that whatever we will get in the next books will be awesome. I mean, I’m pretty sure there will be some epic Blue drama with her true love, but I also heard about a ship called Pynch which I can’t wait to read about!
The writing style was gorgeous even though it took me a while to get used to. I didn’t realise how much I loved it until I was looking for quotes I loved and ended up copying almost the entire book. The writing is just so beautiful and atmospheric and flowery and it felt like the perfect fit for this book and its plot.
The plot is one that is actually rather difficult to explain. The synopsis does not do it justice at all, but explaining more about it would ruin the experience a bit. It’s a super original, magical and fun story that you just have to throw yourself into and discover all for yourself. All I can say is, it will definitely surprise and awe you and blow all your expectations away.
“Watch for the devil. When there’s a god, there’s always a legion of devils.”
I’ve been doubting a lot about how many stars I want to give this book. I ended up with 3,5 stars which may seem little but it’s because a) as I said it had a slow start and didn’t hook me right away and b) I’m pretty sure I will love the next ones even more so I need to have some room for improvement right?
“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”
“When she looked at the stars, something tugged at her, something that urged her to see more than stars, to make sense of the chaotic firmament, to pull an image from it. But it never made sense. She only ever saw Leo and Cepheus, Scorpio and Draco. Maybe she just needed more horizon and less city. The only thing was, she didn’t really want to see the future. What she wanted was to see something no one else could see or would see, and maybe that was asking for more magic than was in the world.”
“His heart hurt with the wanting of it, the hurt no less painful for being difficult to explain.”
“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”
“In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.”