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The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 14+
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL760L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2012
NO. PAGES: 416
GENRE{S}: Fantasy
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Mixed
SERIES: Raven Cycle
SEQUEL: The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2)
AWARD{S}:
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
YALSA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults
ISBN: 0545424925
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop


The Story
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)—Book Review

Every year on St. Mark's Eve, seventeen-year-old Blue Sargent stands next to her psychic mother in an old church yard as the spirits of the soon-to-be dead walk by. Blue has never seen them herself, but this year is different. A boy her age emerges from the dark and speaks to her. Her mother tells her the only reason she would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve is that either he is her true love, or she will be the one to kill him. The spirit she saw belongs to Gansey, a rich boy who attends the local boarding school, Aglionby. The boys there are known as the Raven Boys, and Blue has always made it her policy to avoid them because they are nothing but trouble. But Blue is drawn to the charismatic Gansey and his misfit group of friends, who are on a strange quest for ancient magic. For her entire life, Blue has been told by her clairvoyant family that she will cause her true love to die. She's never believed in true love, and never thought this would be a problem for her. But the further she is drawn into the dark and dangerous world of the Raven Boys, the less sure she is of anything anymore.
The Scoop
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

The Raven Boys is the first title in an intriguing new series by Maggie Stiefvater. As is her style, the author tweaks the young adult fantasy genre just a bit to create a story that is truly unique and engaging. The Raven Boys are engaged in a hunt for ancient ley lines--invisible energy lines that connect spiritual places. Gansey believes that locating these lines will lead him to the burial place of an ancient Welsh hero who will bestow favor on the one who wakes him from his "sleep." The concepts are based in ancient English lore, though the story takes place in modern time. Patience is required as the magical and historical elements develop and clarify, because they are not all presented with specific explanation at one time. Gansey is a wealthy and charismatic young man, though much more complex underneath than he initially seems. He is motivated by a desire to give back and make his life matter on a deeper level. Blue is the only member of her family who is not clairvoyant, and is drawn into Gansey's hunt for magic primarily because she wants to see it up close for the first time. There are slowly developing romantic plot lines, though they don't appear to be heading in the expected direction. There is violence and drinking (one of Gansey's friends lives with an abusive father, and another drinks himself into near blackout after a violent encounter with his brother), and language is present by only occasional (b-tch, sh-t, f--k, a-s). Readers who are inspired by a richly complex storyline will be drawn tightly into Blue and Gansey's world, and will take note of the last line of the book, which paves the way for the next phase of their journey.
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