The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Year: 2012
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | YA
Rating: 4

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.

Okay, I admit it, I’ve never read a Maggie Stiefvater book before. I know, I’m sorry! I can hear you all gasping now but it’s true! Shiver didn’t speak to me, nor did the Scorpio Race, and it wasn’t until I saw some of my bookstagram friends discussing it that I finally heard about the Raven Boys. Just 4 years late! I ordered the book after reading through their discussion and started it days after it arrived, only to finish it all within the space of 24 hours!! I have a thing with books, where sometimes I can read them slowly over the space of a couple of days but other times I just devour them in a matter of hours. This was one of the latter.

I’m not a fan of love stories. Okay, that makes me sound cold and horrible and I’m not I promise! What I mean to say is that I’m not a fan of cliche love stories and for me this sounded like one of them. For starters all of this is over a kiss. A kiss? There’s a lot more to relationships than just kissing so I really don’t see what the big deal is here? Then there’s the whole she-loves-him-but-can’t-be-with-him trope that is sweeping YA literature, which annoys me almost as much as the stereotypical love triangle (and low and behold this book has one of those too!), so I almost skipped this. But I heard about a treasure hunt and treasure hunts are my guilty pleasure! 

Any book that involves searching for someone or something is my passion! I can’t get enough of he Dan Brown novels, the Tolkien adventures and even spy novels. I just adore them. When that’s tossed into a crazy cauldron of paranormal and fantasy, I can’t imagine anything better! It’s like all of my favourite things packed into one book series and it’s left me dying for the next book in the series.

Gansey’s quest is by far my favourite thing about this whole novel. Watching them work out all of the different points of the mystery was beyond interesting, especially when it came to exploring the ley lines. It was just made better by the haunting atmosphere that Stiefvater managed to create. As I said earlier I’ve never read a Stiefvater book before, but after reading this one I really want to. I was utterly enthralled by it all. Her omniscient third-person made it almost too easy to get to know the characters and her writing was almost as magical as her story. The effect it created was tremendous.

Not that the characters were too hard to get to know, because Stiefvater created some great characters and I’m eager to see how they develop in the future. At first I hated them, the boys that is. I couldn’t get enough of Blue and her crazy house of psychics (how cool is that? A group of strong, independent women living together!) but the stuck-up rich Raven Boys weren’t my style. They were too cliche. And then we got a bit deeper and well, I sort of started to appreciate them as well. They’re different, definitely unique, and who knows what will happen to them next? I did have one small issue when it came to the characters though, and that was that Stiefvater was a bit tell and don’t show about their personalities. She told us what they were like right at the beginning, rather than letting us to learn ourselves. Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to get to like them.

This book definitely amazed me. It was cliche at times but it definitely was original as well. Some of the plot twists were incredible and I didn’t see so many of them coming. I did see a lot of quotes though that caught my eye and, as I’ve heard a lot about foreshadowing, I have a few suspicions for the later books.

If you ask me, Stiefvater should have rewritten the blurb for this one because there’s very little romance involved in this first book. Yes its clear from the first chapter that the Gansey/Blue relationship is going to be a thing (or maybe it’s a mislead oooh) and the other leg of the triangle is present as well, but there’s not a lot of love. It’s more adventure and fantasy and, boy, am I down for that. I just hope the other books follow the same path.