Monday, August 19, 2013

Mark This Book Monday: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater!

Another book that quite surprised me and totally blew away my expectations in a good way for the next Mark This Book Monday entry.

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes, upon reading the synopsis of a book you make up your mind on what you think it'd typically happen, and despite by best efforts to not do that, it had happen with The Raven Boys... I was expecting insta-love and maybe some typical cliches on rich school boys with a paranormal touch and I am so happy to say that Raven Boys was nothing like I was expecting and in the best ways possible.

Blue Sargent is the only one in her house that is not a clairvoyant or has any sort of physic powers, unlike her mother and her friends, but every year for St Mark's Day she has sat with her mother in a remote abandoned church to watch for the sould of those that would die during the year and she's never seen them. But this year, she doesn't go with her mother, she goes with Neeve, her mother's cousin/half-sister/relativ and she sees a boy, a boy named Gansey and she's told that he's either her true love or she's gonna kill him. Pair that with how she's always been told that if she kisses her true love she'll kill him, and Blue is sure that she wants to avoid love but intrigued enough to want to find more about that boy.

As it happens, Gansey attends a very exclusive school on Blue's town, the Aglionby Academy for boys, known as The Raven Boys. They meet by chance (or maybe fate) at the diner where Blue works and though they don't hit it up or fall in love, everything is set in motion from then on. Having a reading at Blue's house by her mum and friends for Gansey and the rest of his small group of unlikely friends is just the final push for the rock to roll.

This book is carried in the shoulders of its characters and they are such a complex mix that is a joy to read about them and try to discover more about each of them.

The fours boys, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah are such an unlikely mix and so different from the very cliched stereotypes of the rich privileged boys that would attend an elite school, and their interactions and their relationship is one that makes you think of the "your friends are the family you choose" saying.

Blue and her family are such a ragtag of quirky and different personalities and as full of secrets as the boys. Whatever you see in the surface for them, is quite like an iceberg, there's even more unseen.

The plot moves at a slow but steady pace, building up on the mystery and the search of Gansey's own grial quest: finding the tomb of an old Welsh king. It is unclear if Gansey is sure of what he'll do when he finds it, cause even if it's said that you can ask a boon from the king if you find him, it seems that is the search what Gansey is using to find who he is separate from his family and his money, a quest to define himself. All the boys seem to be more or less involved on Gansey's search, some more out of loyalty, some cause they do want something out of the king. And Blue, Blue just can't help being drawn into the quest because she becomes part of the Raven Boys, she finds a different purpose and she just feels she needs to be there.

There's plenty of paranormal elements, but quite in a different and unique way, and it has plenty of gritty tough real world happenings to balance it, there's enough darkness and intrigue to keep you turning the pages and while the ending is quite final, it also leaves plenty of open doors and questions unanswered to be quite eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!

Raven Boys does deserve 4 and a half stars.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

  1. Great review Pili. I agree the pacing was slow. Honestly, I had trouble getting my head wrapped around it in the beginning but I loved the way it all tied up as I continued to read. Can't wait to see what we all think of TDT.


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