The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Summary: Blue, who lives in a house full of psychics (one of whom is her mother), has been told over and over that she must never kiss the man she loves, for upon doing so she will kill him. On a night where the spirits of the dead (past, present, or future) cross through a local church, Blue—who is normally blind to the paranormal—sees the spirit of a boy. This boy, she comes to learn, is Gansey, and their lives will soon intertwine. Gansey seeks knowledge that Blue has, and Blue…well, Blue could certainly use a friend.
My thoughts: I read The Raven Boys while on vacation, though it is decidedly not a vacation read. Vacation reads, for me, shouldn’t require much thought or commitment—and The Raven Boys is the exact opposite. Maggie Stiefvater’s prose is as rich and luscious as ever: it’s the type of writing that you can’t skim both because, well, it would be a waste, but also because you must pay attention in order to fully “get” this book. It’s layered and textured, and things line up in odd little ways that make you giddy inside when you figure them out. Ye who like to skim: stop that (at least for The Raven Boys)!
Maggie Stiefvater has finally won my heart with The Raven Boys (The Scorpio Races was slow for me, although I did, of course, enjoy the writing) because of its characters. They come alive while you read, to the point where when you reopen the book, you expect them (and subsequently the text) to have changed positions. The Raven Boys is full of eccentric people, from Blue (who expresses her eccentricities through fashion and hairstyle) to the psychics she lives with (this one’s obvious), to the “raven boys” she befriends (don’t even get me started on them!). Stiefvater’s collection of weirdos could not be more perfect—they show us that each of us is uniquely strange, no matter what our clothes or school or profession are. I fell in love with every single character in The Raven Boys. Period.
If you enjoy books about strangeness, myth, and/or treasure hunts, give The Raven Boys a try. It will delight you—guaranteed. It’s a very different kind of book in the best ways possible.
For those who like: humor, mystery
Find the author at MaggieStiefvater.com.
Comment question: as a teen, would you be (or would you have been) able to resist kissing the one you love?