The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
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. (Goodreads)
Blue comes from a quirky family of psychics. While she has no actual psychic ability, she has the unique gift of being somewhat of an amplifier, giving off an energy that those who dabble in more otherworldly behavior feed from. Blue has lived most of her life under the weight of a strange fortune: One day she’ll kill her true love with a kiss. She decides early on that there will be no kissing for her, no falling in love, until one night while helping her aunt sort through the soon to be dead on St. Mark’s Eve, she sees a boy from Aglionby, the local prep school. Her aunt tells her she can only see him because he’s either her true love or she’ll be the one to kill him. Either way, this beautiful boy is going to die.
Blue, though she’s always tried to avoid those rich, arrogant boys from Aglionby, she befriends this small group of boys–The Raven Boys–headed by none other than Gansey, the young man whose ghost she saw in the churchyard. The boys are on a mission of their own, searching for a lost king and the mysterious ley lines that will lead them there. Blue is drawn into their mission, pulled to each boy in a different way until she can’t imagine her life without them.
I really loved this book. Like The Scorpio Races before it, this story has a slow start. Stiefvater takes time building her world, establishing relationships, letting you in the mind of the characters’ lives and before you know it, you’re in love. You can’t put the book down. You can’t imagine why you haven’t read it sooner. But give it time, have patience. Some things are worth waiting for.
I loved the characters. Blue and her weird family of psychics, their strange rules and lifestyle, and this creepy fortune that Blue will kill her true love, sucked me in. Then there are the boys. I struggled at first because initially, it seemed Gansey was the boy I was supposed to want Blue to fall in love with (but not kill, obviously). He’s magnetic and charming, almost single-minded in his quest, but there’s this endearing quality about him, this intense, protective love he has for the other boys that shows a softness about him. It seemed though, that Adam is the boy who first draws Blue in, asking if it would be okay to call her sometime. Adam is mysterious and quiet, leading a sad, double-life. He made my heart ache and there were so many moments–tiny ones where he’d hold Blue’s hand, or seem jealous of the way Gansey looked at her–that I had to read over again because there was such a vulnerability to him. Then there was Ronan, the fierce, troubled hot-head, certain to offend anyone within a five-mile radius. There was something about him I found so strange and funny. And lastly, Noah, who was sweet and gentle but definitely the biggest mystery of all. In some way, it seemed like Blue loved all of these boys and by the end of the book, so did I.
Be warned, this is not a complete story but a series. One storyline closes, yet it opens up a world of questions and sets up perfectly for the next book, The Dream Thieves. This series is odd and engrossing, different from anything I’ve read in quite a while. I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again, I loved it.
Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 Definitely lives up to the hype.
Source: The library!