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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Expected Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Page Count: 390 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Nicole from The Reader's Antidote
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
“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.”

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: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, 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 never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
I'll be honest with you, of all of Maggie Stiefvater's books, Raven Boys is by far my favorite. While I loved Shiver, Linger was just okay and Forever was a DNF for me, and I still haven't read Scorpio Races. That being said, my decision to read Raven Boys was a bit hesitant at first. I'm so glad I didn't let any prior judgments get in the way of my choice. I devoured Raven Boys. The characters have a depth to them that makes them real and the writing style is as gorgeous as always. Raven Boys is a magical story that you won't be able to fully grasp until the very end, when all the pieces come together and you're pushed off a cliff. The only poor choice I made in reading this one was waiting so long to pick it up. Whether you're a fan of Stiefvater's other works or not, your'e going to want to get your hands on Raven Boys ASAP!

The characters are all beautifully developed. Blue is a little bit weird, having grown up as the only "normal" one in a house full of psychics. Despite her peculiar upbringing she knows who she is and she's proud of where she's come from. The raven boys (Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah) all have their own unique identities and stories that make them who they are. Stiefvater did an amazing job at slowly revealing the life experiences that have shaped these characters and made them who they are. I was able to connect with all of them on so many levels, and my heart just broke for them. And despite how different they may seem on the outside, they're all very similar, and somewhat damaged, on the inside. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with all the boys and their decisions affected me just as deeply as they affected each other.

As always, Stiefvater's writing is as beautiful and poetic as always. Her writing style paints a vivid image of the world she's built and as a reader I was able to immerse myself so fully into the story that I began to believe it was real. When something haunting happened, my body would get the all-over-chills and I would have to make sure all my windows were closed and my door was locked. The story itself was incredibly original and unlike anything I've read before. I love the mixture of the paranormal with the mythological as well as a bit of historical fiction thrown in. I honestly had no way of guessing what was going to happen next and I gave up trying and just let myself frown in the story. I admit, I was confused, horrified, frightened, anxious, and heartbroken on more than one occasion while reading Raven Boys, but I love that Stiefvater was able to pull so many emotions out of me!

If you're one of the few people who hasn't already added Raven Boys to your TBR yet, make sure you get on that NOW. Raven Boys will turn your world upside down in the best of ways. you will fell all of the feelings and fall deeply in love with the amazing characters. It's hard to find a book that is so refreshingly original as well as soul satisfyingly brilliant. I'm not a huge Maggie Stiefvater fan, but I can say if she wrote more books like this I would read every last one of them and become a full fledged uber fan. I highly recommend that anyone and every one pick up Raven Boys the second it hits shelves!

26 comments:

  1. Still waiting for my request of this to be approved on Netgalley, I really hope I get it!

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  2. so glad you loved it. The Raven Boys is also my favorite of hers by far. The characters stiefvater created made the novel for me <3

    great review!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  3. I was one of those who has tasted Maggie Stiefvater's Linger trilogy and not really devoured it. So naturally I was shying away from this one too. Perhaps, this review tips me towards the get-the-book side :D
    New follower :)
    Aditi
    That Readioactive Book Blog
    ps. I live your posts on getting ARC reviews. As a newbie, they made a hell lot of sense & difference! Thank you so much!

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  4. Wow, this definitely sounds like a book I need to get. I have it on my TBR list, but I wasn't dying to read it or anything. Now I am super interested in it. I love when you can lose yourself in a story like that. Fantastic review babe!!

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  5. All of your Goodreads status updates, along with this review, have me so excited for this one! Admittedly, I wasn't sure for awhile if this book would be a priority read for me and quite possibly could have passed me by, but there is no way I will let that happen now. Great review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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  6. Oooh what a glowing review! I haven't read any of Maggie's books but I am constantly nagged by a girlfriend of mine to read The Scorpio Races. I really need to pick one of them up and give it a go, you make her writing sound just beautiful! Awesome review.

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  7. I'm super excited for this book and you just hyped it up for me even more!

    Thanks for your review! <3



    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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  8. I suffered through Forever (setting it down about ten times for extended periods before I was able to finish it!) And to be honest? I've been hesitant to read another Stiefvater book because of it. (I didn't read Scorpio Races like everyone else did, because I was still so irritated after Forever.)

    But thanks to your awesome review, I think I'll give this one a try...
    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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  9. Great review! I wasn't going to read this one but now I want to :)

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  10. Raven Boys was my first book read by Stiefvater and I loved it too. I've had her other books on my to-be-read list for a while but I think I need to start reading them because this book turned me into a fan.

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  11. I'm super excited for this! I can't wait to pick it up when it comes out.

    Sangita @ Whisper of Reads.

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  12. Ahh you told me exactly what I wanted to hear Anna!!! I wasn't a huge fan of her Shiver series, and I haven't read Scorpio Races yet, so I was deff not sure if I really wanted to invest in Raven Boys, but now after reading your review...I am SO picking this up when it comes out! Awesome review hun! :D

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  13. The Raven Boys was definitely her best book (okay, I've only read her Shivers series, but still. It is freaking amazing) I find it hard to think that it's from the same person that wrote the Shiver series. It seems to be on such a different level.

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  14. I absolutely love this review, Anna! The only other Maggie Stiefvater book I read was The Scorpio Races and that was okay for me. I do have Shiver though and have been meaning to give that series a shot soon.

    ANYWAY. I love how much you felt for all the characters (SO MANY EMOTIONS!!) and gosh, Maggie's writing is incredible. I really love the story of this one too! Amazing review. <3

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  15. Shiver didn't end up being for me, so I didn't read the rest of the installments. I have yet to read Scorpio Races too, so I'm fairly similar you on her past books. That's why I'm really excited to hear that you enjoyed this one. I also received an ARC of this for review but have yet to start on it. After your review, I'm planning on trying to get to it this weekend. I can't wait to read it!!

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  16. Gah! I love Maggie Stiefvater! I cannot wait for this book to release. It is definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2012. AND YOU HAVEN'T READ THE SCORPIO RACES?!?!? That book happens to be my favorite out of all of her books, including Lament and Ballad.
    I'm so happy to see you liked this book! I need to read this book ASAP! No need to remind me ;D Still, it's good to see you enjoyed the book.
    Cheers!

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  17. Awesome to hear that you loved this one most of all - I MUST read it. I really enjoyed Shiver and The Scorpio Races!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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  18. AWESOME review, Anna! I'll admit I own a copy of Shiver but I still haven't read it, or any of Maggie's books. I'm loving the way you talked about her writing style, though...so I'll have to look for this one at some point.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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  19. Great review! I'm so happy you loved this book too! It's like my favorite book of the year now. The writing, characters, plot it was all so good! <3 I cant wait for book two!

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  20. I have not read anything by maggie yet, but I do love that you described her writing as beautiful and poetic. I have been a bit hesitant to read shiver and that trilogy but everyone seems to love it so much.

    I think The Raven Boys might be a better book for me to start out with of hers. Thanks for the great review Anna! :)

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  21. Heck yes!!! I'm so excited!!! I haven't been a huge fans of her previous books, but I was so hoping this one would be different!! I'm so glad you liked it! I'll have to move it up on my TBR!!! Sorry for all the exclamation points, I'm a little happy!

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  22. I absolutely ADORED this book. It was another brilliantly written novel from Maggie (who I absolutely LOVE), but The Scorpio Races still beats it out as my favorite. I can't wait for the next book in this series though!

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  23. This review tortures me. I can't wait until I get to read it!! You should give The Scorpio Races a try when you have the time--it's a sweet read. I think so, anyway. :) I always think of Maggie as an author I can only take in small doses, you know? Because her writing is so...beautiful. Or gorgeous, as you said. Sometimes, I have to be honest, sometimes it gets to me.

    ...Oh, The Raven Boys!

    ♥Jessica(:

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  24. Everyone keeps telling me this one picks up but I'm struggling to get through this one. Hoping it picks up soon.

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  25. I think many will find Stiefvater's style challenging. This isn't prose typically found in Young Adult novels. It's nuanced, and a tad slow-but it's an intentional slow burn, so stick with it.

    Maycee Greene (Skagway AK

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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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