The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)

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Everything I Expected and More
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I love Maggie's writing. I can see such a difference from her first published novel, Lament. She has beautiful descriptions, amazing world-building, and don't even get me started on her pacing.
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Not your "normal" Paranormal!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
So I had heard really good thigs about this book and have been meaning to read it for a while. When I first started it, I was instantly intrigued, partly because it was so different than other paranormal books I have read recently. One of the things that I really liked was that the main character, Blue, at this point, kind of doesn't even actually have a supernatural ability (other than as a conductor for others abilities). Getting to know each of the Raven Boys and a little about their backgrounds was really interesting to me. In my mind, I pictured them as some of the boys from One Direction...I dont know why! The intertwining of mythological-like aspects with the Ley Line and Glendowr was an exciting turn as well. Having the teacher, Whelk be close to the other boys (and Blue's) age was a good plot point. Too often the adults in the book are too old and cant connect with the younger characters. Also, finding out the "twist" in the book was worth the wait. All in all, the book certainly had some slow points, but they were few and far between and very short. I would recommend this book because of the plot twist and the fact that it was a different sort of paranormal, which I am always looking for.
Good Points
I loved that it was different than other paranormal books out there.
I really liked each and every character.
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Another great book from Maggie Stiefvater
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
The Raven Boys is very different to the other books that Maggie Stiefvater normally writes. Although the blurb definitely suggest otherwise, with the true love dying and all that, but love isn't that important in this book compared to Shiver or Lament. It's partly because Blue doesn't want to love someone, otherwise they die, but it's also partly because the ley lines and psychics are more important in the story at the time, and maybe (spoiler) dating Adam instead of Gansey prevents the true love. I reckon though, in the next few books, that it will become way more meaningful.

I felt restricted from Blue, like I couldn't get to know her. At the start, it felt like Blue was going be the main character (and she was), and we would follow her throughout most of the book, but as it progressed, we kept getting further and further away from her, until we basically lost all connections, and started trailing Gansey instead. By the end of the book, Gansey was the most important character, and Blue was just there. I thought it was a really strange switch, and it just didn't feel right. But I do like Gansey a lot more than Blue, so I don't mind it that much, it just felt a bit strange.

The ending was fast, to fast compared to this such slow going book. It got confusing and way out there. I have no clue what happened with Adam. Was he stabbed? Did he turn evil? Was he connected to the ley line? I am so unsure about what happened, that re-read about five times, and still had no idea what was going on. So be prepared for a rapid ending.

*SPOILER*
I thought what was really strange was that Blue and the three boys took Noah's death really lightly, even if it was ages ago. They knew him, even as a ghost. They hardly reacted when they found out he was a ghost. They were like "oh look, Noah's dead, he must be a ghost, how about we don't scream in horror or exclaim in surprise, but see if he is still hanging round." If I found out one of my close friends was a ghost, I would react way more than that.

The Raven Boys is another great book from the great author Maggie Stiefvater. If you loved her previous books, but with the romance toned down, then this book is perfect. Don't be fooled with the true love dying, there is nothing like that in this, it will come in the next books of the series.
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Slow Yet Ever So Steady
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
We’ve all heard the saying slow and steady wins the race. But in books, sometimes that seems counterintuitive. If the storyline is just too dang slow, you’re gonna put that sucker down. So it takes a lot of skill to make a story progress at a slow pace, yet still keep you glued to your seat to figure out what happens. That’s exactly what Maggie Stiefvater does in “The Raven Boys.”

“The Raven Boys” follows the story of Blue, a psychic’s daughter, who is told from birth that the boy she falls in love with will die. To avoid being the killer of an unsuspecting fella, Blue avoids flirting, handholding, kissing, or dating of any kind. Of course, in comes a group of guys, who despite their snooty upbringing at a private school full of spoiled rich kids, each have something charming to offer. This seems like a recipe for disaster.

From that brief plot summary, this story seems action-packed. It most definitely is, but the real heart-racing antics don’t get going until the second half of the book. The beauty of the first half is that even if there isn’t as much action, the mystery of it all is just so darn compelling you can’t wait to find out what spiritual antics are bound to happen. Stiefvater shows that the world doesn’t have to end, girls don’t have to fall in love with vampires, and protagonists don’t need to wield bows and arrows to really grab your attention. It’s putting just the right amount of small little morsels of plot clues, perfectly placed, that will really get your mouth watering to keep devouring a book.
Good Points
An addicting sense of supernatural mystery.
Wonderful plot surprises.
An array of developed characters.
Masterfully crafted pacing within the storyline.
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Yet another amazing September Release!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book was, honestly, one of the best books of 2012. Now, I'm not saying that everyone would enjoy it as much as me( but most likely), but for me it was the perfect book. I loved every last detail in this book and I am also quite glad that Maggie didn't do a too-bad cliffhanger that makes you want to read the next book immediately. I'm happy about that because if she did do that, I would be dying right now! I mean the book already has me wanting the next book, even without the cliffhanger!

The thing I love most about this book is the character development. The author makes you fall in love with the characters or despise them. She lets you understand each major character's view, actions, and emotions, which I absolutely was so happy about! She just was so amazing about developing and putting emotion into developing each and every character.

The plot of this story was quite intriguing! I was actually unsure if I would like this book or not, since it was mainly sounded to me about a bitch who was a pyshic's( I'm not sure how to spell it and if I did spell it right, woohoo!) daughter that didn't like rich, spoiled kids. I can understand completely why she wouldn't like them, I just wasn't sure if it was going to be a good story to read. But, thankfully, it turned out to be one of the best books of the year. But, anyways it did intrigue me...but I was hesitant at first. While I started devouring the book, I started thinking to myself that this book has actually turned out the opposite of what I thought it would be! The romance did not ruin the story, I never got bored reading it, and the pacing timed out perfectly!

One more thing to say about what I love! I loved the magic in this story. Yes, magic. I don't know why, but I've always found magic so utterly cool. When I read this book, it let me imagine what the world might be like if there was magic and I'm so glad the author let me experience it.

I recommend this book highly to everyone!
Good Points
The character development and awesome detail
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A Fresh Start to A Unique Series
(Updated: October 30, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Raven Boys was impressive. The book has a plot inventive enough to keep a reader guessing, and is populated with a fabulous assortment of characters who bring the story to life.

The Raven Boys centers on Blue, the pragmatic daughter of the town psychic, and her relationship with an eclectic group of prep-school students known as the Raven Boys. Led by sociable, rich, and effortlessly pretentious Gansey, the boys and Blue investigate the grey area between science and myth for “ley lines,” energy pathways tied to geographical areas. Their ultimate goal is finding the sleeping ancient Welsh King Glendower, who they believe slumbers somewhere on the East Coast. Blue’s household of women psychics adds depth to the plot. They all foresee that if Blue kisses her true love, he will die, and that this is the year she will fall in love.

Stiefvater adds color and strength to an already well-thought out plot (this book actually lays the foundation for continuation as a four-book series) with her delightfully realized characters. Blue is a well-developed protagonist, with relatable qualities and a personality that corresponds with her upbringing in a female-dominated, independent world that accepts the supernatural. Secondary characters are truly brought to full-bodied, dynamic characters in their own right. Blue’s mother and aunts, though relatively minor characters, have in-depth personalities and deviate from the stock characters of Supporting Albeit Domineering Mother-Figure. Blue receives assistance from her aunts to spy on a houseguest, and her mother has never given her a direct order.

The four Raven Boys each bring a fully developed and dynamic character to the scene, characters which have life both on their own and a synergy as a group. We are introduced to three of the boys from Blue’s perspective:

“One was smudgy, just as he said, with a rumpled, faded look about his person, like his body had been laundered too many times. The one who’d hit the light was handsome and his head was shaved; a soldier in a war where the enemy was everyone else. And the third was—elegant. It was not the right word for him, but it was close. He was fine-boned and a little fragile looking, with blue eyes pretty enough for a girl.”

The personalities of each boy are as distinct emotionally as they are physically, allowing true group dynamics to form. Each character relates to the others in an individual fashion, which makes the book more realistic.

The book is written from different points of view, so insights to internal feelings as well as their external interactions are both expressed. In this way, Steifvater creates holistic characters and the presentation of their side stories as well as role in the overall plot, is believable.

One complaint on The Raven Boys is that it is the first book in a series of four. The Raven Boys opens more doors than it closes, and as an impatient reader, I enjoy closure at the end of my novels, which is not provided here. Steifvater has the content to make a full, balanced story, in the same way that Melina Marchetta’s novels are separate entities that are fantastic in their own rights. The foreshadowing of plot intricacies in the books to come made me feel like I would eventually be overwhelmed.
Though Stiefvater writes books in series like most other YA authors, she breaks the mold in terms of subject matter and literary quality. Recently, supernatural fiction has heavily weighted the balance of young adult books. However, The Raven Boys asserts its individuality by breaking trail instead of following in the footsteps of mainstream supernatural, with lay lines and Welsh mythology creating an intriguing and fresh premise. What’s more, Stiefvater is a self-professed perfectionist, and it shows in her writing. This book demonstrates a lot of thought and effort, not only in plot organization, but also in the crafting of sentences and presentation of dialog. There is fluidity to the writing that weaves metaphors into a narration that connects the reader to the emotions of the novel.

In her blog, Stiefvater writes of a previous book:
“If it was about these things that were eating at me, it would have emotional truth, and no matter how great your plot or your hook or your legend is, if you don't have the emotional hook, it's just not going to mean anything to anybody else.”

The emotional hook remains in this novel. The Raven Boys is polished, consistent, interesting, and will leave you thirsting for the rest of the series. I recommend it as a solid piece of good writing for young adults, as well as anyone in the mood for a bit of mystery and an unforgettable assortment of characters.
Good Points
Excellent writing style, and beautifully developed characters.
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Absolute Wonderful Book
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book was, honestly, one of the best books of 2012. Now, I'm not saying that everyone would enjoy it as much as me( but most likely), but for me it was the perfect book. I loved every last detail in this book and I am also quite glad that Maggie didn't do a too-bad cliffhanger that makes you want to read the next book immediately. I'm happy about that because if she did do that, I would be dying right now! I mean the book already has me wanting the next book, even without the cliffhanger!

The thing I love most about this book is the character development. The author makes you fall in love with the characters or despise them. She lets you understand each major character's view, actions, and emotions, which I absolutely was so happy about! She just was so amazing about developing and putting emotion into developing each and every character.

The plot of this story was quite intriguing! I was actually unsure if I would like this book or not, since it was mainly sounded to me about a bitch who was a pyshic's( I'm not sure how to spell it and if I did spell it right, woohoo!) daughter that didn't like rich, spoiled kids. I can understand completely why she wouldn't like them, I just wasn't sure if it was going to be a good story to read. But, thankfully, it turned out to be one of the best books of the year. But, anyways it did intrigue me...but I was hesitant at first. While I started devouring the book, I started thinking to myself that this book has actually turned out the opposite of what I thought it would be! The romance did not ruin the story, I never got bored reading it, and the pacing timed out perfectly!

One more thing to say about what I love! I loved the magic in this story. Yes, magic. I don't know why, but I've always found magic so utterly cool. When I read this book, it let me imagine what the world might be like if there was magic and I'm so glad the author let me experience it.

I recommend this book highly to everyone!
Good Points
I really enjoyed how she added depth to every single character! Her writing style makes me picture every last detail in my head.
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Really Interesting Yet Confusing At Times
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
When I at first saw this book, I wasn't interested.
It was kind of like the "judge a book by it's cover" thing.
But the cover wasn't the problem, the problem was...
the title.
"The Raven Boys"
I don't know if it was just me, but for some reason that made me think that the book was about ravens... that are boys.
I found that weird, odd, and not very interesting.

But I kept seeing this book on Goodreads so I decided to see what was such a big deal.
As it turns out, this book is not about ravens that are boys!
It's about ghosts, a dead guy, and the hunt for the mysterious!
(It's honestly very hard to explain what the book is about if you haven't read the book)

The strange thing is, there is NO ROMANCE in this book!
Based on the synopsis you would think there would be romance...
"For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die."
Sure, this might become more important further on in the series but this book seems to be more about what I will call "the hunt for the mysterious".

This book was an interesting read.
But it was also confusing, there seemed to be a lot of parts that made no sense and parts that you might think are pointless but actually end up having a point.
I know this makes no sense but there were a lot of times in the book where I had no idea what the heck was going on but overall, I give this book about 3.6 stars!
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Love the writing!
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Originally posted on http://wordsareinnermusic.blogspot.com

Raven Boys takes off from the first pages. Right away, we are pulled into the life of Blue, a girl who’s family is psychic. Everyone but her that is. Every year, her mother and Blue go to the cemetery and write down the names of those who are about to pass. Blue can’t see the people at the cemetery, no does she possess any special powers. Until that night. This year, she goes with her aunt and this year she sees someone for the first time. He’s one of the Raven Boys, and he’s either her one true love or someone she kills. When the Raven Boys walk into her life, everything changes.
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start! This book is so much, too much. Maggie is fabulous at creating stories that pull you in and take your mind on a journey. Blue is a great character. She’s strong and smart, pushing herself beyond the comfortable to discover what lies beyond. Enter Gansey. I was very interested in how Maggie will introduce Gansey to the readers and let me tell you, it wasn’t what I expected. We see a lot of Gansey and his friends, because Maggie tell their stories along side of Blue’s. I really enjoyed this aspect.
Oh Raven Boys. You have stolen my heart. Seriously, these guys are great! I love their intensity, I love their different personalities, I love their quirks and dynamics. Maggie did such a great job making them real and complex and lovable (even while you want to strangle them). My only concern is that...no I can’t do it. I can’t be spoilery and can’t go crazy and talk about the romance in this book. I won’t do it. (ugh)
When you read this book, you need to read it. There is so much going on, you don’t want to miss anything. This book, this whole story was not what I expected. This is definitely a set up for the next books and I can’t wait to see where Maggie takes these characters. Honestly, that ending left me quite frustrated because I needed the next book right now!
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Lots of potential for greatness with just a few flaws
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
First of all, the synopsis is misleading. It implies that there is a romance in this book between Blue and Gansey, and there is not. There is a hint of romance between Blue and one of the other Raven Boys, but not Gansey. Now, I'm pretty sure that if all the foreshadowing is to be believed, the Blue-Gansey romance will come later in the series, but in this first book, there's actually very little romance at all.

This book does really well on a few fronts. First, the story itself is really interesting. The complex relationships between the boys and Blue, the intricate supernatural element that they're exploring, and the interwoven mysteries that play out all kept the narrative moving and my attention occupied.

I also really liked several of the characters, particularly Blue, Adam, and strangely enough, Ronan. I'm not even sure if I was supposed to like Ronan, but I did. Adam was definitely my favorite of the Raven Boys, and I thought the best developed. And Blue was feisty and quirky in a way that let me see how she would really fit in well with the odd group of friends.

Maggie Stiefvater's prose is engaging and flows nicely. I can see why her books are so popular (and now I'm motivated to actually go read the Shiver trilogy, which has been sitting unread on my shelf for months).

One warning: This book asks some pretty big questions that are not answered in this book. One in particular that I thought for sure would be addressed before the end of the book, isn't. It's not a cliffhanger per se, just big questions that remain unresolved. Now I'm thinking that it will probably take the entire trilogy to get answers to some of these, but it took the entire book for me to realize the answers weren't coming. It didn't really bother me, but I just want you to be aware.

I did have a few problems with the book that kept me from completely loving it. The first is the shifting POVs. Don't get me wrong, I love a good multiple-POV book, when it's done right. And for the most part, this book did it right, with one exception. The villain (of sorts) gets a voice, and while part of me loves the idea of a villain getting to tell his side of the story, I don't think it worked in this book. It all comes back to my whole hangup with "is this voice necessary?" and his POV was used so infrequently, I didn't think it was necessary. Interesting? Kinda. Necessary? Probably not. Yes, he lets us in on a few pieces of information we wouldn't have had otherwise, but I don't think the story would have suffered without them, or if we had learned them through another method.

Then there's the fact that I just didn't really feel connected to Noah or Gansey, and I'm not sure why, but this story really needed me to have a connection with both of those characters to fully succeed. This just might be a problem with my brain, because I haven't heard of anyone else having this problem. But bottom line, I felt like I really should care about these characters, and I didn't. Not too much. I didn't dislike them; I was just sort of apathetic towards them.

Now, will that apathy keep me from picking up the sequel? Definitely not. As I mentioned before, I loved some of the other characters, and the story is fascinating. So while I may not have thought the book was perfect, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be eager to pick up the next one when it comes out to see what happens next with Blue and the Raven Boys.
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