Blue Sargent looks like any ordinary girl. She works with her mom and aunts, she doesn't have many friends, and it seems like her odd name is the only curious trait about her. What people don't see is that Blue has a unique strength in magnifying the psychic power about her...a small gift, she thinks, as a member of a family made up of psychics and fortune tellers. But that isn't Blue's biggest secret. The thing that she's kept secret her whole life--the fortune that has formed her into who she is--is this:
If Blue ever kisses her true love, he must surely die.
To be quite honest, I thought I would hate this book, for multiple reasons. I knew it was about psychic powers and mythological stuff, which isn't exactly a field I enjoy or appreciate. It weirds me out, and kinda irks me sometimes. I also thought I would dislike it because it seemed like it was going to be a romance. I mean: the synopis on the book jacket completely hinted at that. I was expecting love triangle, angst, and all that mess.
So why did I pick it up off of the library shelf, and then read it in a few hours? Well, for one thing, it's written by Maggie Steifvater. As I've stated before, I loved the Scorpio Races, and so I thought I should give The Raven Boys a shot. I really disliked the Wolf trilogy (only read one book, but still disliked it--once again, for multiple reasons) and I have yet to read any of her other books, so I didn't have high hopes.
Boy was I wrong.
“You missed World Hist."
"Did you get notes for me?"
"No. I thought you were dead in a ditch.”
The Raven Boys was...confusing, to say the least. I'm still not sure I'd understand all that went on, even if I reread it several times. There were layers to it--it felt like it had depth. Or maybe it wasn't the layer upon layer effect...it was that there was so many unanswered questions. I wanted to know what would happen next--would Blue kiss Gansey like everyone foretold she would, or would Adam be the one to change their fate? What the heck did Barrington Whelk have to do with the Boys? And why is Noah perpetually referred to as 'the smudgy one' in Blue's mind?
“I guess I make things that need energy stronger. I'm like a walking battery."
"You're the table everyone wants at Starbucks," Gansey mused as he began to walk again.
Blue blinked. "What?"
Over his shoulder, Gansey said, "Next to the wall plug.”
I didn't much like Blue--she seemed a little two-dimensional. I liked Gansey the most, despite his very very weird name. Adam I deemed worthy of being part of the (miniscule) love triangle--he was genuinely nice, and the fact that he and Gansey had realistic friction that wasn't about Blue really made me like him. Ronan was twisted and feisty and a little mysterious, and Noah...well, I'm not going to say much about Noah. I'm alternately creeped out and entranced by his character. Read it. You'll understand.
“Are you really going to work in that?" Maura asked.
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 realised how well my evil plans were working.”
Things I didn't like? As with most teen books of this day, language was everywhere. I counted about 5 f-words, several d-and s-words, and other British and American slang/swear words. I wish Blue's character had been a little more built upon, and I would loved more explanation about what was going on with Gansey searching for Owain Glyndwr. But I have a feeling that last issue will be resolved in the coming books. And the whole psychic powers/clairvoyant thing...I won't go into that in depth, but let's just that, religiously, it doesn't exactly make me happy.
The Raven Boys is the first book in a four book series called the Raven Cycle. The second book (which I have not read yet) is called the Dream Thieves, and came out September 17th. Both books are around 400 pages long.
I recommend this book to any teenager over the age of 15, but, bearing in mind that language is abundant, so if you're sensitive to that sort of thing, I would say older would be better. Also, be prepared for shivers--the last page is a killer.
“The way Gansey saw it was this: if you had a special knack for finding things, it meant you owed the world to look.”