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The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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“. . . the book is marvelous, for not only is it filled with marvels, it is also a marvel of imagination and, more prosaically, structure. Rich, too, in characterization, this fantasy/mystery rises to the level of serious literature” - Booklist, starred review
“It’s a tour de force of characterization, and while there is no lack of event or mystery, it is the way Stiefvater’s people live in the reader’s imagination that makes this such a memorable read.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The Raven Boys is an incredibly rich and unique tale, a supernatural thriller of a different flavor . . . The Raven Boys delivers." - School Library Journal, starred review
"Amid well-paced, suspenseful plotting intriguingly overlaid with history, myth, and legend, Stiefvater creates a compelling human drama of boys whose privilege or lack thereof colors all of their interactions." - Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books, starred review
"Stiefvater not only weaves a suspenseful tale of Blue’s involvement with three such boys and their quest for the grave of an ancient king, but she also does so stylishly, with sly social commentary." - The Washington Post
"Stiefvater's can't-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book 2." - Entertainment Weekly
"Patton is masterful with the suspense and the mysticism and seductively plays the emotional line of real and imagined events. Don't miss this compelling listen" - Audiofile Magazine --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
- Publication date : September 18, 2012
- File size : 28018 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 468 pages
- Publisher : Scholastic Inc. (September 18, 2012)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0096T5P7O
- Lending : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #33,536 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Unlike everyone in her family, Blue can’t impress people with visions or other mental abilities. According to her own words, she is a battery, making others’ energy stronger when she is around. She uses it to help the family psychic business. The other things making her special is the prophecy warning her she will kill her true love. How depressing.
The Raven Boys are four very different but complementary older teenagers attending a prestigious pre-ivy league private school . The bad boy, the leader, the quiet, and the poor. Don’t worry, this is the simplistic version. Each of these boys carry secrets and burdens.
Are you still with me?
Now comes a quest, the strong desire of one of the boys to find something very special. Guess who is great at finding things?
In the meantime, our frustrated Blue finally sees something. A boy. On a very special day. A vision that seals her fate to those of the boys.
I was a little skeptical about the romance. And the paranormal. And the blurb. And the hype, of course.
But I think I’m in love. Let me tell you why.
The characterization makes it impossible not to fall for a character, or in my case all of them. The variety of personalities creates a likeable group you are bound to root for.
Blue’s family is colorful and loveable. Yes, they are psychics. But that is not all there is to them. The author manages to play with the cliché and build a string of interesting women. They are not cardboard characters, there is a background, there is life. A mother raising her child alone, in a house full of creative minds.
The boys. A novel could be written about them. Wait, it’s been done. I don’t feel like saying too much about them because I believe no words could describe them better than the ones used by the author. All you have to know is that a leader can me a thousand more things. So can me the bad boy. It applies to all of them. Maggie Stiefvater gave life to characters with distinct personalities that you can’t fail to love.
Blue. Yes, it took me a while to get used to her name. Then I remembered someone had called their kid Apple, which is cute, but unusual. Blue became one of my favorite female characters. It bothers her to be seen as sensitive, but she can’t deny she is. She is friendly, curious, clever. It was refreshing not to get stuck with the strong main character with a hidden show-off super power whining about how her life is so boring until the day something happens and bam, she is transformed into a superhero. Blue is different, in a different way (this is so deep!). Her actions, the relationships she has or builds make her who she is, not her power. I cannot wait to see what happens to her in the next books. Her relationship with her mother and her family felt genuine and spot-on, differing in many ways from the usual teenagers-parents bonds we can find in books.
The romance. No insta-love. No long paragraphs about longing for each other. No heavy forbidden-love atmosphere. It is only an element among many others in the plot. I really loved the way every relation was built, how deep the bonds between the boys were, and how love took its place without causing waves or demanding tear-jerking chapters.
Back to the plot now. Psychics, Magic. A dead king. A quest. Trees. Nothing that appeals to me. Except this time. Everything is framed so perfectly that it creates a suspenseful and absorbing story that leaves you turning pages faster than the wind gets rid of a tree’s leaves. Don’t dread falling into something too supernatural for you, the right balance keeps you knee-deep in reality while sending you down the magic road.
The writing. I don’t even know what to say. I wish I used words the way Maggie Stiefvater does. She makes the trees alive, turns conversations between teenagers into something entertaining, powerful, or the saddest thing you’ve ever read. She gives nouns and verbs a deeper meaning. Feelings become tangible. Her writing style made me hungry for more.
If case you hadn’t noticed by now, I fell in love with everything in this book. The story swept me away and the characters filled every chapter with life. I finished this book last night, and I miss everything about it. Isn’t it what you call a book hangover? Don’t send my a doctor or aspirin, I’m happy here.
2. When she meets rich dick he acts like a rich dick by offering her money to go on a date with his shy but adorable friend, Adam.
3. At a corpse road ritual, a few nights prior she found out that by the end of the year, Gansy might die.
Gansy turns out to be great at looking for lost treasure and that is why he ended up in Henrietta , Virginia. He's been all around the world trying to find lost artifacts or ancient things no one believes exist. While looking for the treasure that lie in this small town he recruits 3 of his best friends. Ronan, a smoldering bald headed bad boy. Adam, the poor cute scholarship Raven boy. And Noah, the sweet but messy boy.
I'm not gonna lie, At the beginning of this book I thought this was definitely going to be a DNF and that I was for sure going to rate it a polite, and in my opinion, generous 2. Her writing in the beginning was not appealing to me. Instead of showing us that blue was fashionable and quirky she wrote it out for the reader. Point blank. Multiple times.
"Blue looked at her clothing. It involved a few thin layering shirts, including one she had altered using a method called shredding. “What’s wrong with it?” Maura shrugged. “Nothing. I always wanted an eccentric daughter. I just never realized how well my evil plans were working"
I'm pretty sure I rolled my eyes until they were almost stuck every time stiefvater mentioned the fact that blue was eccentric just because of her styling choices. Another thing that peeved me was her apparent obsession in using the adjective "hungry". Im almost positive that she used it at least once every other paragraph. (That's definitely an exaggeration but honestly it was a stinking butt ton).
But around the 30-40% mark I got used to her writing style and I ignored any sentence that included the word hungry. After I was able to do that I quite enjoyed it. Its definitely not the best thing I've read and the plot still moved pretty slow for my taste and I absolutely loathed any chapter dealing with Barrington... But none the less it was enjoyable.
Top reviews from other countries
The start intrigued me straight away, but I felt it slowed right down after the initial interest. There’s so much information that needs to be understood by the reader before you can move on, and I struggled to juggle all of it at once. For this reason, I found it quite hard work to get into it and keep picking it up. (Don’t kill me!)
Plus, I wasn’t sure why I should care about the boys’ quest. Of course, by the end I understood, but for the most part, I didn’t really care what they were doing, and I think that was my main issue.
I did eventually get into it, but it was more than halfway through, and I came out a little deflated.
Having said that, the characters were flawless and real and loveable in their own way. They were all so different, and that was pretty much what kept me reading. But that’s what I’m most interested in: characters.
As so many people told me to read this book, I feel as though I have to read the next one. After all, there won’t be so much confusion, and I should be able to sink into it better.
This is the risk you take when you big up a book so much! It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it; it’s that I was expecting so much more.
Blue is adorable in her eccentric ways with a family full of very strong psychics living in a town with some serious magical history tied to it. Only, she was never born with that same talent. She could never see and feel what her family does. Her mother and aunts and various others who could see moments of what was to come and connect with spirits. However her particular ability was extremely useful to them. Her presence made their psychic connections stronger and louder. It also made many other things stronger too, like the energy let lines running through the town pointing to something that many people are looking for a craving for all different reasons. Only each psychic in her family warned her that if she kissed her true love, he would die.
Gansey is the rich boy destined to doom. Though his search is from a far more innocent and less greedy perspective. He just wants to live his life to the full, search the histories and make a grand discovery. To find out if the myths are even true! His friends are a strange bunch. Adam who is quiet and serious and honest, struggling with his lifestyle and family. Ronan who is an angry mess of grief and secrets and destructive behaviour and Noah, quiet and shy almost to the point of becoming invisible.
There are twists and turns, unexpected revelations and the story is jam packed with mysteries, magic and chilling discoveries. I could barely put this book down.
Loved every second of it.
And for the first 50%.. it just didn't. Maybe that's the problem when you're expecting so much. And maybe it's a problem when you're reading YA, but still expecting to find some seriously swoon-worthy badboys, thanks to the alphahole precedent set by the likes of LJ Shen and K Webster.
I wanted more from these raven boys. I wanted them to stir me up.
BUT, after the midpoint something kicked in and I found myself eager to keep the pages turning. It became exciting seeing how all these characters connected and watching everything come together.
The book finishes with a lot of questions and unresolved issues, and I'm looking forward to finding out what comes next.
Packed full of paranormal goings on, Celtic folklore, ley lines, cute guys and psychics, this is a book you definitely don't want to miss. Maggie Steifvater has written a wonderful tale focused on friendship, and adventure, and it is just so magical and easy to read.
We follow Blue, daughter of a psychic and amplifier for the paranormal, as she befriends the dreaded Raven boys, students at a local school for the rich and famous. Blue knows she shouldn't be near them, she's been told her entire life that if she kisses her true love then he will die, and on St Mark's Eve she sees one of them on the corpse road, which means one of two things. Either he is her true love, or she is going to kill him. And he is going to die within the year.
Meet the Raven boys; Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah. Gansey is obsessed with the ley lines and finding the legendary Glendower, Adam is struggling to get by, Ronan is a lost cause, and Noah is just strange. As Blue befriends them, she finds herself caught in the race to find Glendower, without giving away her dreaded fear that she's going to end up killing one of them.
I really liked this book. The characters were very 3 dimensional, and none of them particularly annoyed me in any way. Each character was their own person as well, despite the fact that 4 of them were Raven boys who we were led to believe were all rich, posh, and spoiled. Blue was a very strong character, her perspective being very singular in a book primarily told from a male point of view. She isn't from the world they're from, and she comes from a background not many people believe in, and of course there's the matter of seeing one of the boys on the corpse road. Because of this, she feels uncomfortable around the boys initially, and her hesitation also leads her to form difficult relationships with 2 of the boys. These two boys are effectively her love interests, Adam and Gansey, but she only tells Gansey she will kill her true love if she kisses him.
Gansey is the head of the group. The richest, privileged Raven boy, he is on the search for the legendary Glendower who he believes is somewhere along the ley line. In his search, he has enlisted the help of his fellow students, and is often misunderstood by the group. He has a tendency to forget his wealth can be influential as he prefers broken things and run down things as opposed to new and shiny. Gansey is perhaps one of the more complicated characters, and you can't help but love him as he is good-looking and rich, but also a complete nerd. Adam on the other hand comes from poverty, is abused, and feels like he has to earn his freedom and doesn't want to be bought. He's very loyal to Gansey and his quest, and develops feelings for Blue, and this made me sympathetic. Adam doesn't deserve half the stuff he has to put up with, but you can't help but feel that because of his situation he is a very important character to the story. His and Gansey's friendship is much like that of brothers, and they clearly couldn't do without each other, and that is something I really enjoyed. Despite fights and arguments, their friendship still remains strong, and ultimately Adam ends up sacrificing something for Gansey that just makes you feel for him.
I'd mention Rowan, but at the minute, he's just a condescending prick (something I loved) and I just know that in the next few books his character will become more and more important. Especially after his final line. And he said it so matter of factly it just made me fall in love with him.
This book was full of plot twists and for the most part they were very surprising. You didn't know what was going to happen until the minute you read it, and this kept me on my toes the entire time, hoping for more. The world was believable and in the end I really wanted Glendower to be real and to be part of the gang. Maggie's writing was very easy to read and at times I couldn't put the book down, I just wanted to carry on reading forever. I always wanted to know what was next, and never felt like I was dragging myself through the book or rolling my eyes at anything too cliche.
If you haven't picked this up yet, I highly recommend it. Especially for this sort of season. It's very spooky, and very fun to read, and I can't wait to jump into the second book. The only reason I haven't yet is because I don't want to rush the series and wish I'd taken my time with it.
Normally I like to go into things knowing roughly what the story is about, but with this I was glad I didn't know, because that was something I felt added to the mystery.
Blue is the only non-psychic in a family full of psychics. She longs for something more than her not-so-ordinary life, and that's what she gets when she is visited by the ghost of a stranger. There are only two reasons a person with no psychic abilities would see a ghost before the person's death: either he is Blue's true love, or she killed him.
The Raven Boys has mystery, mythology, romance and a dash of the supernatural, but what will forever be it's best quality are the characters. The dynamic between Blue and the raven boys is fascinating and their relationships only strengthen as the story progresses. There's:
- Gansey, their leader, on the hunt for the missing Welsh King Glendower. He's obsessed with the supernatural and will try to protect his friends no matter what the cost.
- Adam, a quiet but ambitious boy who wants success on his own terms or not at all.
- Ronan, the raven boy who is 'the most raven', reckless and intimidating.
- And Noah, the shy, loyal member of the group who hides many secrets.
I love the individual personalities of all the characters, and the fact that they are all so flawed. It makes them so real and genuine - it's so easy to fall into the mystery that surrounds them.
The first half of the book is a little slow and I so wish that the plot was a little stronger overall, because the actual concept is fascinating. But don't let that put you off because every book gets better and better!
Every minute detail builds up to something bigger, so if you have the patience and love a bit of mystery and amazing characters, read The Raven Cycle. You won't find another series with quite the same atmosphere and magic that Steifvater has managed to create.