Blue's psychic family have told her over and over again that if she kisses her true love, he will die. However, that's never seemed like a problem as the only boys in town are the rich, privileged Aglionby Academy students. When she helps her aunt record the spirits who will be dying in the next 12 months, she sees a spirit for the first time. Since she's not a psychic, there's only two reasons why she'd see a spirit: if he was her true lover or if she killed him. But in her case, it could be both.
I've been a fan of Maggie Stiefvater ever since I read her Shiver trilogy when I was in my Mock Printz Book Club in high school. I ever had the chance to meet her when her dad graduated from my MFA program in 2016. I know her Raven Cycle series came out years ago, but I hadn't had a chance to read since I had so much academic reading to do while in school. When I finally had a chance though, I was so excited to see what she'd been working on.
At first, I was worried about the characters in this book. They seemed like the very eccentric but overall privileged and unrealistic. For example, how often do you read YA books where the teenagers have their own apartments? You spend half the book wondering where these kids parents are and why their school doesn't seem to care where they live. However, Stiefvater does a great job of humanizing these characters even if their economic situation isn't relatable for most. I found myself really invested and connected to each character as well as their relationships with each other.
The town of Henrietta, Virginia, the setting of the book, was interesting, especially with its magical elements. Overall, though, it was the part of the story I struggled with the most. It was fairly bland and generic. Stiefvater described some of the natural scenes beautifully, but I felt like the story could have really been set anywhere, rather than the vivid and unique town I felt like it should be have been. This may be made more concrete in the next novels, though, so I'll keep an eye on that.
I was interested in this plot since I read the back cover, but I was expecting a romance-heavy and supernaturally themed story. I was excited but wasn't anticipating the twist-filled and roller-coaster-esque plot that followed. It's rare that I am completely surprised by a book, especially since I've been reading so many YA novels, but once I got about halfway through this book, I was completely hooked. I hit twist after twist and could not put the book down. And the ending just left me wanting more!
The Raven Boys is the first book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. This book was completely addictive with engaging characters and crazy plot twists. I highly recommend this book to any lover of Young Adult Fantasy books and is appropriate for most age groups. I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing the sequels sometime soon!