Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater - spoiler-free review.

Hi booklovers

It's been a really long time since I last did a book review and even though I don't make (reading) resolutions anymore, I would like to get back into the habbit of reviewing the books I read.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is the first book I've read in 2018 and I buddyread this with some members of the Of Wonderland bookclub on Goodreads.The theme for January is 'Hyped books' and this one was suggested for the buddyread (a new feature in the club).

I've had this book on my TBR for quite a while now, but I hadn't picked it up. 

The reason is simple: I have 182 unread books on my TBR, a lot of which are first books in duologies, trilogies or series and I only have the first one. Since I'm trying to limit my bookbuying, I'm hesitant about picking up those books, because if I like them, I'll want to buy the next books. But for this book I obviously made an exception :-)

Title: The Raven Boys (#1 The Raven Cycle)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: paperback
“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. 

*Blue: She is the female main character of the story. She lives at 300 Fox way together with her psychic mom and a bunch of other psychic women. Unfortunately, Blue doesn't share these psychic abbilities, the only thing she does is make things 'louder' for the other women. Blue isn't really bothered by the fact that she isn't psychic. On the contrary, she is very mature about it. Even though she is very mature, she has also developed a very distinct and excentric personality and she is very comfortable with it: "It hadn't taken her very long to discover that the weirder she looked on the outside - the more she let other kids realize that she wasn't like them, from the very beginning - the less likely she was to be picked on or ignored. The fact was, by the time she got to high school, being weird and proud of it was an asset."
I love Blue as a character, she deals with everything that happens in such a good way. 

*Gansey: At first glance, Gansey is a bit of a selfish guy who thinks that since money isn't a problem for him, it isn't a problem for anyone else either. But we soon discover that there is so much more to him than meets the eye. He's so invested in his search for the ley lines and Glendower. He's also a great friend, even though it's not always appreciated by the other three raven boys.

*Adam: I really liked Adam up to a certain point in the story. I really felt for him because he's the only one of the four friends who doesn't have ample money. Even though Gansey repeatedly offers to help him financially, Adam doens't want his 'charity'. At first I thought it was good of him to stand his ground, but after a while it actually gets a bit annoying. He stubbornly doesn't want to see that Gansey wants to get him away from the abusive situation at home.

*Noah: He is a very intriguing character even though we don't know that much about him. I hope to learn more about him in the next books.

*Ronan: This is the character that I could fathom the least. He's loud, he's rude, but he would also do anything for his friends. He carries the weight of his father's death around with him and I think that contributes a lot to his character.

*Whelk: The Latin teacher, who also wants to find Glendower. He is even more obsessed by Glendower than Gansey is. Because of this, I did not like him at all (but I guess that's the point of this character).

*The women of 300 Fox Way: They are very quircky women and I hope we'll get to know them better in the next books.

Personal opinion:
It took me a while to get into the story, but at one point I became really intrigued and I really wanted to continue reading. The paranormal aspect was pretty cool and I liked that Stiefvater mixed the paranormal aspect with a bit of history. I enjoyed the fact that Blue is the only woman in 300 Fox Way that isn't psychic, but that she is still important to them because she enhances their abilities. The fact that Blue is actually the odd one out at school, is pretty nice, she isn't your typical 'golden girl'. I loved the dynamics between Blue and the raven boys, she approaches them according to their character and behaviour.

The last couple of chapters were a bit confusing for me, which was a bit annoying. The very last sentence, however, has made me extremely curious to continue with this series.
Have you read The Raven Boys? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now


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