I finally got around to reading The Raven Boys (it’s been on my TBR list since early 2014 according to Goodreads – whoops!) and I’m so glad I did! I’d heard nothing but good things about it, so I’m glad to say it lived up to the hype.
The Raven Boys is about a girl named Blue who lives with her mother and aunts, who are all psychics. Yes, really. Growing up, Blue has always been told that if she kisses her true love, he’ll die. Each year on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue and her mother visit a churchyard where they can see spirits of anyone who will die in the next 12 months. Blue usually can’t ever see the spirits, but this time, she sees the spirit of a boy around her age. She asks the boy his name, and he tells her it’s Gansey. No other information. When she tells her mother and aunts that she was able to see a spirit this time, they tell her that she can see him because he’s either her true love, or because she’s the one who killed him. Sure enough, it’s not long before she meets the living Gansey, one of the rich-kid prep school “Raven Boys”. They soon get caught up on a quest that will involve Blue and her family, as well as Gansey and his school friends, Adam, Noah, and Ronan. What are they looking for and why? Will Blue kiss her true love? You’ll have to read to find out what happens next!
So I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was worried that with how much hype there’d been about it that I wouldn’t like it as much, but actually I loved it! It was very character driven, which I didn’t expect. Not that YA’s can’t do a great job at complexly developing multiple characters, it’s just that they often don’t. A lot of times I see the main character developed and the supporting characters just there OR I’ll see four characters who are basically the exact same and have no unique voice. That was not the case with The Raven Boys.
In addition to the characters, I really enjoyed the fact that while there were magical/mythical elements to the book, it didn’t feel like a heavy fantasy book. Instead, it felt more mystical, if that makes sense. There is a lot of talk about tarot reading, seeing/sensing the future, predicting events that will happen, but then it gets a little heavier into the mythology and history of the city they live in, ley lines, and an old king named Glendower, all which play important parts of the story.
Overall, I really liked The Raven Boys and will definitely be picking up the sequels!