Hey Mischievous Readers! Along with a couple of book blogger friends (Tika of Fangirl Confessions, Mallory of Mallory Books and Jennie of A Bookworm Called Jennie), we've created a small group called The Bookish Groupies where in we'd host fun themed monthly read alongs, co-reviews, interviews, discussion posts and the like, and ANYONE is welcome to join!
Previously, we've done a couple of read alongs as a group but we haven't made it official, and as an official group with an awesome name (pitched by yours truly, lol) this will be our first project.
by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Date Published: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | The Book Depository
“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.
"Bam. Initial thoughts on the book. GO!"
I didn't expect to like the book since I hadn't read a YA paranormal fiction in years. I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon, but I thought I'd give this book a try. I thought I wouldn't be able to enjoy YA reads anymore after having to DNF a couple prior to reading this book, but I was in for a shock.
To be honest, The Raven Boys hadn't popped up on my "must read radar" until late last year. I remember reading such great reviews for it on the blogs of girls that I'm really cool with. Then after Christmas, while being a creep on IG and Twitter, on every post I scrolled past, was some sort of amazing praise about The Raven Cycle series. Some of my favorite veteran bloggers had nothing but good things to say about the books, so I ran over to Amazon, and one-clicked that baby to my Kindle.
So I guess I didn't have many initial thoughts prior to reading the story besides,
"I need this book . . . like NOW."
After hearing so many good things about the book, I was unsure if the hype would leave me hanging. I was worried that I would expect too much out of it. But from the very beginning it had me hooked.
When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it or not. I liked the idea and the prologue was really unique and intrigued me but I felt it was a little slow. However as soon as the narrators changed between characters I really started enjoying it and everything fell into place!
"Let's talk about the concept. What do you guys think?"
It was definitely a hit! In my opinion, the concept of The Raven Boys, really put the book in a lane of it's own. There were fun, whimsical, and very dark elements to the story, which made it such a unique read. The story consisted of psychics, mediums, boys with major issues, a weirdly sane girl as our main character, talking trees that speak Latin, oh and let's not forget the tree that will give you so much anxiety (not literally) while showing you visions of the future. Yeahhh . . . I'm pretty sure I never read anything like this.
As far as the writing goes, Maggie has such a magical way of telling a story. I felt the writing displayed some simplicity compared to other gimmicky novels I've read this past year, but was strong enough to completely pull you in, and keep you on edge until the very end. If you weren't holding your breath through most of the chapters, then you definitely missed the originality train. Maybe you'll get on at the next stop!
The raven situation going on the cover was intriguing, and Tika had said "Maybe the boys turn into ravens". Well, well, that's different. The whole story, along with Maggie's writing, exhuded an eerie and enigmatic feeling, yet mixed with an exciting rush with all the supernatural situations going on. I think black magic is one of the most underrated supernatural concept since everyone seems to be going through the hype of vampires and werewolves and angels, but black magic is defnitely making a comeback.
I love the way Maggie's writing is so dark and mysterious. In certain parts, the book actually made me look around my room. I was actually scared! I loved all the secrets and how they all kind of threaded together by the end.
The writing in this novel was really great and it did a fantastic job of keeping me curious and wanting to keep reading. I really liked the fantasy concept and the idea behind the novel was really creative.
Blue had me super intrigued with her deathly kiss and all. I really loved her story and how she struggled to be like the rest of her family. I also want her and Gansey together right now! Gansey is wonderful. At first I thought he was going to be a snobby Raven Boy, but boy was I wrong. He was so quirky and determined. Did anyone else picture him with a British accent? Adam was so sweet! I was so disgusted by his father and "that part" actually made me tear up. I never really paid much attention to Noah, he was just there. But man did he come into play by the ending!
Ronan really creeped me out, I did feel sorry for him too with his dad and all. Maura, Persephone, and Cala made an awesome team! Maura reminded me of Tika! Cala was so snazzy. Get it girl! Persephone reminded me of a cute little fairy, or should I say Purse-uh-phone. I liked Neeve at first, but I didn't really trust her. Whelk was my least favorite character by far!
The characters were one of my favorite things about the story. I really liked our MC Blue and how despite all that was going on around her, she had such a great head on her shoulders.
Urban Dictionary Translation: she wasn't bat-shit crazy.
Okay pause. Was anybody else pronouncing her name: Per-Sah-Phone? I literally had no clue I was wrong until the girls informed me that it's pronounced Per-Sef-Ah-Nee. Like whatttt lol? Anywho, Persephone and Cala, were such a pleasure to read! They're banter, especially Cala's feistiness, allowed the story to have some pretty hilarious scenes.
Oh and how could I forget the boys! I loved them all, including Ronan and especially Gansey. They weren't your typical: "Hey, I go to a prep school and I'm rich! " characters. Gansey was completely opposite of what I thought he'd be. I loved him so much, that I nick-named him Great Gansey, after my favorite classic lol. Noah was . . . Noah. Ronan was a troubled kid, but I know deep down there's more to that asshole than what he's letting on. Adam, with his adorable self, was so frustrating to the point I wanted to strangle him . . . more than once. All of the boys were flawed individuals, with dark pasts and even darker futures, and you can't help but applaud Maggie for making such a great cast.
I loved the characters in this book! I loved how some of the psychics were really mysterious, especially Neeve, because that made me curious. I think my favourite 'raven boy' was Adam because he was strong and brave and put other people first. He's my ideal type of guy!
Blue was intriguing: I mean, who wouldn't be intrigued by her deathly kiss? Four boys... which one dies? And Gansey? He was literally a young version of Prince Harry. Posh and fun at the same time. This may sound really weird but I feel so attracted to Ronan and Noah's character. For sure, everyone's going to love Gansey because he's Mr. Perfect but Ronan was all dysfunction and crazy and creepy and let me not get started on the damn tattoos. Noah, on the other hand, was just like an adorable puppy. Although, he did get me creeped out in the first few chapters.
"The most basic question of all:
Likes and dislikes?"
I liked the story line because it kept me wanting to read on and there was always an unanswered question that I desperately need answering! There was a huge twist toward the end and I did not see it coming so that was really good.
I thought the beginning was a little slow but that didn't last long so it's not a huge dislike. I thought the ending came too soon, like one minute the scene was really tense and the next they were back to normal life.
The whole black magic thing was AWESOME. As for dislikes, the book kind of got confusing mid section, because of certain references that I wasn't able to pick up on immediately, but it got better eventually. And as for the mention of a love triangle in some reviews, I didn't even notice one. Mind you, a love triangle is a deal breaker for me so I know one when I see one, but instead, this book flowed more on the friendships formed by the group.
My favorite thing about this book was learning. I learned so much about ley lines and psychology. But that also happened to be a tad bit confusing when we got too much information at once. But after I got used to it, I was amazed by it all. I also disliked reading from Barrington Whelk's point of view because I could not stand his character. But when I got to the end I was happy we had seen his side of it all.
I have so many likes, and if I elaborate on any of them, I'd be spilling tea everywhere, and spoiling a wholeeee lot of people. So I'm going to be pretty vague and say, my likes were basically the plot, the twists, and the characters. The story kept my heart beating rapidly with anticipation, and I just loved how the characters meshed well together, even though they were completely night and day. My dislikes are easy, Whelk with his creepiness, and Neeve with her sneaky ass! I felt so uncomfortable while reading Whelk's POV, but that's a good thing! It made the story really creepy actually. As for Neeve, I felt like something was off with her from the moment she stepped foot into the story. I have to pick up book 2 to see if my intuition was right.
"Last but not the least. OVERALL THOUGHTS & RATING!"
I GOT GOOSEBUMPS AND CHILLS. And I'm so stoked to grab the next book of the series. As for my rating? I'll give it a 4.5 for now.
Overall, The Raven Boys was beyond amazing. I adored everything about this book, and I'm super pumped to continue the rest of the series with these amazing girls. If you haven't already guessed, my rating is . . . 5 stars!
Overall I really enjoyed this book! The things I didn't like were minor details so I can look over them and focus on the good things such as the characters and the mystery. I look forward to reading the next books in the series and continuing the read-a-long with my girls! 4 Stars!
This book was exactly what I wanted it to be. It was dark and perfectly matched my weather. I was so satisfied with the ending and I just want to jump into the sequel ASAP! I gave it a full five stars.
Whew, that was a long post! You're gonna hear more from The Bookish Groupies soon! Watch our for our next themed event for the month of February! Toodles!