Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mini Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by:  Scholastic
Release Date:  On Shelves Now
Reviewed by:  YA Sisterhood's Mom!!!!
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 the Shiver 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.

"Don't walk in front of a bus!" Bam! Bam! Bam! Despite the repeated warnings, the reader as well as the protagonist is hit time after time by a bus of revelations that makes this book a grip-the-edges-and-hold-on-until-your-through masterpiece!


Maggie Stiefvater ironically epitomizes her own three definitions of creativity in the book.  First being creative is "taking old things and cutting them up and making better things." Who doesn't love the art of fortune-telling?  Haven't we all read our horoscope? Yet Stiefvater takes these old world things and brings them into the contemporary setting among mismatched friends--Gansey, rich boy in a preparatory school on a quest; Adam, poor boy on scholarship to rich school and victim of abuse; Ronan, private school tough guy with a chip on his shoulder; Noah, the quiet one who is either bullied or ignored, and Blue, public school poor girl from a family of psychics.  Again, typical type characters, or so you think until page after page reveals secrets of the secrets and you are so shocked as each is bared that "better" doesn't even begin to describe it. (Although I will admit that Stiefvater inundates the book with characters and these are just a few. I struggled to keep everyone straight through the first part of the book and I will admit to having to backtrack through the pages at the beginning to remember who was who, but her characterization is so in depth that the reader can finally solidify them.)


Secondly, creativity could be "taking things that already existed and transforming them into something else." The kids stumble onto a cold case--a murder from the past of a student from the school.  I can't reveal the "transformation" of this event for fear of a major spoiler event, but let's just say, "I see dead people!"


And finally Stiefvater says creativity can "make a thing where before there was none."  For those of you who are tired of the same old paranormal YA novels, get ready for the literal magic and the literary magic that can only be created by Maggie Stiefvater!