Fantastic Recommends: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

What would you do if your kiss was fatal? Never kiss anyone, right? Sixteen-year-old Blue knows that she’s fated to kill her true love with a kiss. She knows this because everyone in her family is a psychic. Everyone except her. But when she actually sees the spirit of her true love in a church graveyard, everything changes, and there are no simple solutions.

I’ll admit it. I chose to Raven Boys because it appeared on a lot of best of 2012 YA lists. (see previous post). It topped one of them, in fact, as having the best prose. And it does. This book is incredibly well written. As a writer, I want to study it because Stiefvater manages to use unique description and characterization without being heavy handed—a nice trick.

The premise is intriguing because you know she’s just got to meet this boy. And Stiefvater knows how to hook a reader from page one, even the prologue, a device I don’t usually like, is gripping.

I didn’t like the love interest at first. A privileged, super rich boarding school boy, he’s hard to relate to. He and his friends are simple stereotypes, but Stiefwater quickly gives each of them a secret that makes them real and riveting characters. And she doesn’t shy away from detailing the magic world of the book.

My only complaint is the end. I don’t want to say too much because I still highly recommend Raven Boys—but this book isn’t whole by itself. I do like series, but I felt let down by the conclusion of this book, obviously the first book in a series—it leaves too many unanswered questions.

And Raven Boys just came out in 2012 so now I have to wait a really long time to see if the answers are in the next one. And that’s not a very nice trick.


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