The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven BoysThe Raven Cycle, 1Maggie StiefvaterYA Paranormal RomanceScholastic PressSeptember 18, 2012Hardcover409

“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.

Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic. She’s been told that she will kill her true love, and up until now has vowed off boys all together– especially boys who go to Aglionby, the prestigious and obnoxious boy school in her town of Henrietta. Everyone calls them “Raven Boys” and it isn’t until the first time that she sees the spirit of a Raven Boy named Gansey that she begins to question whether or not she’ll never fall in love.

Dick Gansey III or just “Gansey” is a Raven Boy, the ghost Blue saw, and the leader of a group of three other Raven Boys: Adam, Ronan, and Noah. Gansey is on a mission: to find Glendower, the mystical Welsh King.

Adam Parrish is Gansey’s shy, intelligent friend. When he first sees Blue at her job, he’s too embarrassed to say hello, but when Gansey accidentally offends Blue, Adam goes back and apologizes. He and Blue become friends and she joins them on their search for Glendower.

Blue doesn’t have the clairvoyant powers her mom does, but her family usually ask her to be present during readings because she amplifies their ability to predict the future. When her aunt Neeve comes to visit and Blue is asked to tag along to help receive the Dead in the Cemetery on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue sees the supernatural for the first time: she sees the ghost of a Raven Boy named Gansey.

From there, Blue seems to be constantly running into Gansey and his gang. When her curiousity is sparked when she hears of Gansey’s quest for Glendower and she promises to help any way she can.

The Raven Boys is only the first in the “Raven Cycle” saga, which gives the reader lots of time to discover the meaning of a prophecy and maybe, if we’re lucky, an explanation of a very mysterious vision in a tree. If you read the book, you already know which tree I’m talking about, if you haven’t, you might want to bookmark the page when you get to it. I had to reread it a few times.

An eerie and compelling supernatural YA novel with mystery, intrigue, and romance; it has all of the main characteristics of all my favorite books. I don’t think it gets much better than this. Fans of any of the above-mentioned genres will have fun reading The Raven Boys.

I recommend reading this when you have a lot of time on your hands because you’ll be annoyed if you have to stop in the middle.

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