Thursday, February 6, 2014

Teen/YA Review: The Raven Boys

Much to my surprise, I loved Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Shiver, Linger, and Forever). For someone who normally doesn’t enjoy paranormal romance much, I devoured those three books one after the other, and loved every moment. So, I was excited when her next novels were published, but I had trouble finding time to read them. I finally read The Raven Boys recently and loved it!

Sixteen-year old Blue lives a fairly unusual life, living with her clairvoyant mother in a house with several other psychics. Blue herself doesn’t have any psychic powers, though she has an unusual ability to amplify others’ powers when they are near her. She attends the local high school in her town but is seen as something of an outcast there, a status she sort of enjoys.

This year, though, everything changes. Each year, on a particular night, Blue and her mother go to an abandoned church, and her mother sees the ghostly figures of those who will die in the coming year. Blue has never seen them herself, but this year, she sees a boy who speaks to her and says his name is Gansey. To make matters worse, Blue has been told – by every psychic she’s ever met – that she will cause her true love to die with a kiss.

When Blue meets Gansey in person in town, she gets pulled into his group of friends, against her better judgment. Gansey and his friends attend an exclusive private school, Aglionby, and everyone knows that Raven Boys from Aglionby are nothing but trouble. Besides, Blue knows that Gansey will die in the next year, and that secret weighs heavily on her. But Blue likes this group of misfit boys, especially Adam who attends Aglionby on a scholarship. In addition, they are involved in a quest related to the town’s unusual paranormal phenomena that intrigues Blue.

It’s a somewhat complex plot, revolving around the Raven Boys, Blue, her mother and the other psychics, and especially the boys’ quest. Eventually, all the disparate pieces come together, in a story that is creative and unusual. I was really pulled into this story by its characters. Blue, Gansey, and Adam are especially likable, so much so that, like in the Wolves of Mercy Falls books, I found myself absorbed in their story and rooting for them – and completely believing in the odd paranormal elements of the book. There are lots of plot twists here and plenty of surprises. As soon as I finished the book, I combed through the carton of new releases waiting for review here and was thrilled to find the second book in the series, The Dream Thieves. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

408 pages, Scholastic


1 comment:

Andrea said...

Great book! I loved Blue and all the Raven Boys. I hope you enjoy The Dream Thieves!