The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) - Maggie Stievater
Bookshelves: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 3 of 5 stars (It was okay)
Recommended Age: 15+
Romance is pretty subtle in this book and there are some positive adult roles. There is some violence, including abuse and a murder as well some drinking and lots of language.
When I looked at the cover, title, and having read Stiefvater's Shiver, I thought perhaps this book was another shape-shifter book. That is completely not true; however it is full of the paranormal.
The Raven Boys begins by introducing Blue, a 16yo girl who grows up with her mother and a few other psychics. Each year her and her mother go to watch the spirits on St. Marks Day which shows a promise of who will die within the next year. Blue is not psychic like most of the women in her life, but she is an amplifier. She makes everything clearer or brighter. Usually she just writes down the names of those her mother calls out but for the first time, she sees someone, a young boy named Gansey. She is told this means she has a special connection to that person, he is either her true love or she is the one who kills him. Which could in fact be both since she is told since she is little that she will kill her true love when she kisses him.
At the beginning I really thought that this book was going to focus on these two characters. That is not at all how this book plays out. We not only meet Gansey but a handful of Raven Boys who all go to the same private school with extremely varying backgrounds. Blue's initial impression of them is the stereotypical rich boy jerks but we learn they are so much more than that.
The characters are what grabbed me in this book. The setting didn't really pull me one way or another and to be honest, I felt the plot, especially at the beginning, was rather slow. But I really felt like I knew the characters. Some of which I liked, some I didn't, but either way they were real. There were parts that were confusing, and at times I felt things were kind of disjointed, they didn't flow as well as I would have hoped. Perhaps I felt this way because I don't know much about the paranormal or ley lines and such.
I was a little disappointed in the end because we are set up in the beginning to wonder about how certain events end, which we don't even find out about. Apparently the answer is given at the end of the series, not this book. It made me feel like the series was written with a certain number of books in mind and the first is just the intro. Maybe this is why it felt so slow? It wasn't slow enough to not finish but it definitely took me a few days, which isn't typical. I will continue to the next in the series and hope it picks up there.