The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

To put it simply, The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater, is an outstanding read.

Set in the small town of Henrietta, Virginia, The Raven Boys follows the adventures of five characters: Blue, a girl in a psychic family who is the only one to lack their fantastical abilities, and four boys attending the prestigious Aglionby school- Gansey, the rich leader striving to be more than his money, Adam, a “scholarship students who resents the privilege around him,” Ronan, the “fierce soul” that’s quick to anger but hiding deeper emotion, and Noah, a “taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.” The issue is that one of these new friends may be Blue’s true love- and that as Blue’s true love, they would be destined to die because of her. Not only that, but the mismatched group is pulled into a mystery that the seemingly ordinary Henrietta may have answers to.

As the first book in “The Raven Cycle” series, the story focuses on establishing the overarching plot for the next three books- because of this, a major plot point for The Raven Boys is establishing the characters. Some authors struggle with a balance between shocking events and smaller occurrences to develop a personality for a character; Luckily, Stiefvater is not one of these authors, as the book has a satisfying balance between both. Not only this, but Stiefvater establishes the personalities of her characters in a unique way that gives them a realistic dimension while making their different sides familiar to readers (This being said, the focus of The Raven Boys is on three of the five main characters. The rest remain more mysterious to hook readers into the next three books). Another point of intrigue for this book is its originality. It is a refreshing read, straying from common character personalities or plot points in other currently popular young adult books. Instead, The Raven Boys reads like a sort of retro mystery novel, though it takes place in modern day. Therefore, if a reader wants a book filled with mystery, lovable characters and a hint of magic, The Raven Boys may be perfect for them.

Review by Gwendolyn