Now, I should probably start this review off by saying I've heard about this book for lie, years. It's a big thing in the book community. I was never really interested in it because of the synopsis and the character names. I'm just going to say, the synopsis isn't all that compelling but this book is so much more. I was surprised about how quickly I was pulled into the story and fell in love with the characters. I started this book at one in the morning, thinking I'd read a few chapters just to get a feel for it-- I didn't think I'd be all that interested in the story for a few chapters.
I was wrong.
I was up rather late (or early?) reading. Just one more chapter. Just one more chapter.
Tip: Never start a book at one in the morning. It almost never turns out well.
There are four point of views this story is told from, Blue, Adam, Gansey and Whelk. It's mostly Blue and Gansey, occasionally Adam, and sometimes Whelk.
Anyway, Blue lives in a house full of psychics. In fact, her entire family has psychic powers, everyone but her. Though, Blue does have a special ability, she acts basically as a battery to anything supernatural, enhancing things and powering them up when she is around. Every year, Blue goes to an abandoned church with her mother to watch the corpse road. Once a year, the spirits of who will die in the on coming year walk the corpse road. Blue isn't usually able to see these spirits, but her powers of enhancing things helps her mother to see and talk to them. This year is different, though. Blue sees someone, a boy. When she goes to speak with him, she's surprised to see he's wearing an Aglionby sweater, which means he goes to a school in her town. Blue asks him his name, it's Gansey. She later finds out that since she was able to see his spirit, either Gansey is her true love, or she was the one who killed him.
I also forgot to mention that Blue has been told from multiple psychics that if she kisses her true love, he will die. Therefore, Blue has sworn off boys, and hasn't had any trouble with that... until now.
The Aglionby boys are somewhat hated in Henrietta, the town Blue lives in. Aglionby is a private all boys school for the rich and privileged boys. Most of them are rather pretentious, driving their rich and fancy cars around town and doing basically whatever they wished. Therefore, Blue has double sworn off Aglionby boys.
Gansey is an Aglionby boy. He's rich and charming, but he's also obsessed with finding an ancient Welsh King, Glendower. Gansey is convinced that Glendower is still alive, and that he is close to finding him. (He's been searching for years.) While Gansey is charismatic and could be friends with anyone he wished to, he has become friends with three boys that without him, probably would have no friends.
Ronan Lynch is one of Gansey's oldest friends. And he's mean, like really, really mean. There's being a douche, and then there's Ronan Lynch. Even though Ronan is mean, you can't help but love his character. At least I couldn't. See, he has an honor code, doesn't understand the point of things like one night stands, and very clearly cares about his friends. Ronan has a dark past, and it's hard not to feel sympathetic for him. I'm very excited to see what more he has to bring to the table in future books.
Adam Parrish doesn't quite fit in in Aglionby. He's a poor boy living amongst rich kids. He's rather prideful and wants to, one day, be at the top. It's interesting, seeing his character, because you can see that there is something very dark in him. Something simmering beneath the surface waiting to come out. Don't get me wrong, he is a good guy and a good character, he just doesn't have much to lose at this point. All the characters have hard lives, but in different ways. That's one of the great things about this book. No character is perfect, they all have their flaws.
Noah is the last of Gansey's group. He's quiet-- you could go for hours not noticing that he is in the same room. Somehow Noah always seems to be a little dirty.
All of Gansey's friends are loyal to him and I loved seeing their friendship and how they all worked together. Friendships are one of my favorite things to read about in books. They are also all helping him attempt to find this Welsh King. Somehow along the way, Blue gets entangled in their lives and in their mission, and that's when it really starts to get interesting. Like pulse racing, have to keep reading interesting.
The first part of the book I just kept reading because I wanted to see Blue and Gansey meet-- it was all very interesting, but I said I'd go to sleep once they met. While it was interesting before they met, after Gansey and Blue meet, and Blue joins the gang, that's when everything becomes riveting, so riveting that it's almost impossible to tear one's eyes away from the pages.
I can't really discuss the plot much, and I know it doesn't really sound all that interesting, but I promise it is. Maybe the idea of finding a King isn't that great, it's interesting, but nothing fantastic. What makes the book fantastic is what happens along the way and the relationships between these well thought out, well rounded characters.
I'm giving the Raven Boys 8.9/10 stars. I really enjoyed it, and can't wait for the next three books to come in the mail. (They're on their way now.)
Here's the synopsis:
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
Even if that doesn't sound particularly interesting to you (it didn't intrigue me), I encourage you to try this book out anyway. It's a brilliant read, and as I said before, utterly unique. I've never read anything quite like it-- and I read an awful lot.
Raven Boys? I think you mean Raven Baes.
SPOILERS BELOW FOR RAVEN BOYS
I'm not going to lie. Going into this book, I totally thought it was in a fantasy world. That was until I read a reference to Walmart, that briefly confused me before I realized it was in modern day. (the walmart reference is on like the first page or second page)
Also, maybe it's just me, but does anyone else think it's really hot when boys have to wear the preppy looking outfits for school? Like in Gossip Girl (TV show), they have to wear like ties and button up shirts. *Sigh* I imagine the Aglionby sweaters are just as attractive. Oh. Add southern accents? Definitely Raven Baes.
I really appreciated how little romance was in this book, I feel like it's slow building, and I appreciate that. There actually was no or not much of a romantic connection between Gansey and Blue-- but I ship it. I really, really ship it. I liked Adam and Blue, but I feel like Gansey and Blue are end goals. It feels weird, reading it and knowing that Gansey is going to die. I don't really think he will... There must be some loophole. Maybe their favor will be to bring him back or something like that, we'll see, but I couldn't help but fall in love with all the characters. Especially Ronan and Gansey. Though, I did love all the characters, they just made the biggest impact on my soul, haha. I thought Noah's relationship with Blue was really sweet, though, it later made sense why he liked her so much-- she basically re-energized him. I'm glad Noah's back and not gone for good. He's sweet.
As much as I like Adam, I can't help but feel like he's going to betray them somehow. It's just at thing that happens when you're trying to climb to the top-- or at least one of these days he's going to have to chose between his friends or his goals, or something like that.
The way Gansey and Blue met. Haha. The prostitute thing. I love them, they're great. I think it's hilarious when Gansey like insists on calling Blue Jane, in real life it might be seriously irritating, but in the book it was cute and funny. That scene where she's in his room and they're talking to each other, and it's just so... FEELS. (loved Ronan's comment about the spit as well) I just loved watching Gansey and Blue get to know each other.
Ronan. I don't know why, but I'm always attracted to the douchebag characters (with a soft underside) (Jace, Will Herondale, Daemon Black, Damon Salvatore, Draco Malfoy, Liam Court, Cole Stewart, Magnus Damora, Gabriel Lightwood, Aedion Ashv... Idk how to spell it, RHYSAND, Kaden, Raphael (Angelfall), shall I go on?) Ronan is definitely his own character, though. He's very mean, haha. I loved to see his softer side, though, and I can't wait to see more of him. (I suspect we will, since he's on the cover of the next book and it's titled the Dream Thieves.) But as mentioned before, I loved that he had an honor code and the he didn't believe in one night stands, it just made him all the better character. I also loved seeing the little ways he showed that yes, he did indeed care for his friends. Like when he killed that wasp for Gansey and was angry that Gansey hadn't killed it, or when he beat up Adam's dad for him. Okay, maybe the latter wasn't so small, but you get my point. It was also sweet seeing how he cared for Chainsaw. Seriously, he carried her to school with him. That's adorable. Even the tough ones can be turned by a cute animal, haha. I'm very intrigued about his ability to pull things from dreams-- does it run in the family? Is that why his dad died? And really, I hope we find out what secret killed his father in the next book.
I found it really amusing that they took latin-- of course a pretentious school like Aglionby would have to take latin. (I had to take latin last year. It was interesting, but not interesting enough to take it again.) I loved that Ronan was so interested in that class as well. It was actually funny, because I recognized all the word forms and understood most of the latin.
Random note: I always just thought of 300 Fox Way as a kind of weasely type household.
Arg. When they found Noah's body I was so confused. My first thought was that Noah must've come later and since the time was weird there, it was his future body that was dead. Then they revealed his last name was Czerny and I thought oh, he must be a relative of Whelk? Nope. Finally it dawned on me that Noah was a ghost. It's too bad Noah's ghost never got to run into Whelk and like, guilt him to death or something. I wonder if we'll ever see a Whelk ghost turn up-- he certainly wouldn't be as friendly as Noah.
I'm wondering when Neeve will show up again, because I'm pretty sure she has to sometime. It's a loose end that will probably be tied up in a later book.
There was a lot of thoughts from Gansey about how his friends always leave him and he's never able to leave them-- I wonder if that will come into play in the later books. Like one day he'll just break and leave, causing his friends to be the ones to have to win him back or something. Just a random idea.
Anyway, thanks for reading. If you want to stay caught up on what I'm reading, your best bet is to friend me on goodreads-- Anji Cooper. I accept all friend requests. :) Also, if you don't have goodreads, you should get it. It's a fantastic app/site for readers.