Friday, 26 October 2012

#165 Book Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys
Release Date: September 2012
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy:  Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:

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 theShiver 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.
Cover:
If you look closer or have the book on your hands, you can see the details of the raven's picture on the cover. The paint strokes are clearly visible, particularly in the raven's wings and the touch of red in the raven's body embodies the feeling of the book, including the symbol behind the title of the book.

Story:

If Blue was to kiss her true love, he would die...

This prediction seems vague and obscure. How do you know when someone is your true love? How exactly would he die? Would a peck on the cheek, a kiss on the back of his palm kill him? Blue lives through her life thinking about these questions. In Maggie Stiefvater's newest novel, The Raven Boys, clairvoyance, psychics and magic are blended to create a new mystical and spellbinding world.

I expected nothing less from Maggie in her newest book. After reading her previous works, I dreamt to be back and drown myself in Maggie's writing. It is not often that I get lost in Maggie's lyrical and gorgeous prose and time seems hardly the matter when reading her works. This is what happened to me in The Raven Boys. This book I believe is different to Maggie's other works. It's refreshing, written in a chilling, haunting yet beautiful way. The prologue completely captured me and there I am, sitting with the raven boys and Blue, trying to find a Welsh king and believing in psychics. The world Maggie has created here is fascinating. What may seem like an average story carries a tone of depth that resonates throughout the story. Maggie redefines the concept of death and afterlife, legends and also explores the way life is lived through her different characters. The Raven Boys is written from third person point of view, and Maggie's writing is like a story-telling, beautiful and lyrical. However, while I have no doubts of Maggie's writing, finishing this book left me discontent. It feels like only small things are introduced in this book and the major questions I have been pondering about are not yet answered. But then, I have to remind myself that this is only just the beginning to a magical new series. 

Characters:
While I am not a huge fan of books with more than 2 or 3 main characters, I bonded with each and every raven boys and of course, the lovely Blue. Seeing Blue's life and reading about her worries of killing her true love makes me feel sad for Blue. I like how she is kind, heart-warming and loving, particularly towards the raven boys. At the beginning, I only wanted to know about Blue and Gansey. But when Maggie introduces the other raven boys; Adam, Ronan and Noah, I want to know their lives and how they become friends with Gansey. Each raven boys are so different but also have things in common. However, the characters I think particularly stand out in this book are Blue and Gansey. I love everything about Gansey. From the way he wears his glasses, to the way he gets excited when discovering new clues to help him find the Welsh king. Gansey may seem like the typical rich private school student but there is depth to his character. He is looking for something to prove that there is something more in life than what he is living now. It's something extraordinary but not impossible. His relationship with Blue is a little complex. Their first meeting is strange and ethereal but their relationship itself are not quite developed yet throughout the book. The relationship I truly adored is actually the 'brotherhood' or bond between Gansey and the other raven boys. It's interesting to discover how they have different stories but came united for a sole reason. Without Adam, Ronan and Noah, there are no raven boys. They make the book whole and complete. Maggie's characters are always heart-felt, it feels as though each characters are alive after given a 'breath' of Maggie's beautiful writing. 

Conclusion:
In Maggie's newest book, The Raven Boys, clairvoyance, magic, psychics and forgotten legends are an essence of the gorgeous story. Maggie redefines the concept of death, afterlife and explores the meaning of love and also life. Meeting the raven boys and reading Blue's story is an unforgettable experience. I want to be a part of the team and set on adventures to find the 'extraordinary'. In this beautifully haunting first book of a new series, The Raven Boys took me into a new fascinating world I never imagined before. 
5 Forget-Me-Not flowers for The Raven Boys!
Thank you Scholastic Australia for the review copy!

Check out the book trailer below!

20 comments:

  1. I just picked this up the other day... I'm really looking forward to it!

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  2. Can you BELIEVE I've never read Maggie's books before? You're certainly not the first to say her writing's lyrical and gorgeous! Urghhhh I MUST read this and her other books soon!!! I'm so glad you loved this Celineeee! <3 Fab review!!

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  3. This is such a beautiful review Celine, I think you've managed to capture just how gorgeous this book really is. I really should give this a book try now! :)

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  4. I can't wait to read this one! I'm the same way I prefer less main characters but really glad to hear all the raven boys are very likable. Gansey sounds especially like my type. I also feel bad for Blue. Killing your true love with a kiss is the worst destiny!

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  5. Celine, this is such a perfect review! I think it might even be my favourite of yours. You captured what I loved about this book really well. :) So glad you enjoyed this as much as I did!

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  6. Oh, Celine, I'm so glad you loved it so much, but I'm also sorry you felt kind of discontent at the end. Uh, it doesn't seem to have made the book any less splendid for you, though.

    I'm kind of just floored. I haven't read anything of Maaggie's since Linger, but she's such an amazing writer. I SO need to fix this.

    Wonderful review, Celine! ♥

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  7. YAY CELINE!!! So glad you loved this one too! Maggie just writes such extraordinary characters, I fell in love with each and every one of them. I'm thinking Ronan may end up being my favorite when all is said and done just because he seems the darkest and most damaged, and I'm always drawn to those boys in books:) I agree with you completely, I want to be a part of their team as well and help them figure out this whole ley line mystery!

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  8. Great review. I totally need to read this one soon! Can't believe I haven't gotten round to it yet!

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  9. "Maggie redefines the concept of death and afterlife, legends and also explores the way life is lived through her different characters." I could not have said it better! you girl kick asses with this review! And I totally agree about the characters! There are so many (and I, too, usually dont get attached to more than 2 or 3) but Maggie's characters (the whole bunch of them) totally won my heart! <3333

    I am not surprised that you loved this book not I am surprised about your perfect rating! =D Maggie is something out of this world and I'm glad there are so many people out there who enjoy her works as much as I! <3

    Amazing review Celine! like always! <333

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  10. I was hoping to get lost in Maggie's writing as well, but this one just lacked a bit of the magic for me....I loved the characters and the story but the writing wasn't as gorgeous and detailed as I expected. Still it is a good beginning to a new series. Lovely review, Celine!

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  11. Yayy! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Celine! I connected so deeply with Blue and the raven boys and I can't wait to learn more about them, not to mention the direction the quest for Glendower will take them next. Fantastic review, dear! :D

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  12. I've read her other work (Ballad & Lament) and I wasn't blown away by the story, but I really liked her writing style. I can't wait to dive into this book. Everybody is so thrilled about this book! Awesome review Celine! ^^

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  13. What am amazing review! I've heard a lot about this book. Will definitely have to pick it up! :D

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  14. Oooh, yes, I loved this one too - such gorgeous writing. But I think I like Ronan best (aside from Blue, who is completely amazingly awesome) just because he's so fascinating. I can't wait for the next book.

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  15. I'm with you on the ending! It left me going "what?" but I am curious to see what happens next in this series. The writing was really beautiful and I enjoyed the cast of characters too. Wonderful review. <3

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  16. So glad to see you enjoyed this too, Celine! I loved all these characters. I'm a total Gansey girl, I have high hopes for a romance. Wonderful review. :)

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  17. Aww Celine, I'm so glad that you loved this one! <3 I just read The Scorpio Races a little while back (my first MS book!) and it was AMAZING. I really felt the same way as you about the writing and just overall feeling of it all :) YAY for this one being awesome too! I can't wait to meet Blue and the Raven Boys! Fantastic review, Celine <3

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  18. Even though I loathed Shiver, wasn't a fan of Lament and couldn't get into Scorpio Races, I can't deny that there IS a certain compelling and beautiful quality to Stiefvater's writing, and I'm pleased you thought so too, Celine. :) Wonderful review, hon! I've seen so much praise for this book and I'm glad you jumped onto the bandwagon of RB fans!

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  19. Sounds amazing and I've heard a lot of amazing things about Gansey. Thanks for sharing, Celine. Great review! <3

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