I really liked this book, and particularly when I think of Shiver, the first Maggie Stiefvater book I read, it is so much better in contrast. The book is about a girl called Blue and a boy called Gansey, to be short. Blue is a psychic's daughter who has a strange prediction following her around- when she kisses her true love, he will die. She is incredibly sensible, and refuses to fall in love or even make friends. Gansey is a rich young boy who attends an elite private school, one whose student s have a very infamous reputation for being rich and stuck up. But Gansey is different; his obsession with the supernatural world and odd friends keep him grounded from being too up himself, a trait which he is determined not to acquire. As Blue falls into the world of Gansey and his friends, the Raven Boys, she realises that things are a lot bigger than any of them thought.
It's not a funny book, but it is full of twists and plot bombs that are virtually impossible to see coming, and it reminds me of the Mara Dyer series; dark, twisted, hard to predict and engrossing. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good tale of adventure and fans of psychological thrillers.
So go read it and then come back and we can discuss!
Okay, let's get started. This is a bit of a long one, and I haven't done separate character or scene sections in this review, I've tried to incorporate it all into one solid review. Comment which way of reviewing you like better if you have read some of my other ones.
Shiver was the first book of Maggie's that I read, and it was okay story wise, but the characters were not very bright and neither was the writing. I remember thinking that I liked the background characters, Cole and Isabel, a lot more than the main ones, Sam and Grace. I also remember Maggie writing in a way that was very descriptive almost distant, which I found made me enjoy it even less, despite the writing being beautiful. So when my friend told me to try this book, I was a little hesitant (not to mention the fact that my copy had pages thinner than my Bible and was heavier than a book of its size should have been). However, now I am rather happy that I picked it up.
This story was very intricate, different pieces that seem unrelated that fall together unexpectedly. I have a feeling more pieces, like Ronan's dad, Blue's dad and the fact that Ronan appears to be supernatural will all fit together in the coming book/s. The whole idea is very interesting, and seeing how it will all untangle is something I am very much looking forward to.
So in this book, I think my favourite thing about it was that I felt like I was on a boat. At the start, I knew that this was no ordinary boat (just stick with me I promise I'm going somewhere with this analogy). A psychic's daughter paired with a dark, twisted, dead-king hunting rich boy? I was quite intrigued. Then, as I got deeper into the book, waves came and started hitting the boat when I least expected it. Glendower is still alive; Blue being a sort of battery when everyone expected her to be a psychic as well; Blue seeing Gansey on St Mark's Eve; The trees knowing Ronan and Blue and speaking Latin; Noah being dead; Whelk looking for Glendower; Whelk being Noah's murderer and more. And whilst these waves were hitting me, I realised the boat I was on was nothing like the boat I'd thought I'd stepped on in the first place.
Gansey intrigues me because of the whole hornet thing. He died, but then Noah, who was on the ley line when Gansey died, then was sacrificed so that Gansey could live, which is odd already, even before you add in the fact that whilst he was being brought back to life, Gansey was told that he would be the one to find Glendower. This cleared things up for me, because as interesting as the whole Glendower thing is, it was a bit unclear to me as to why Gansey was so caught up in it. I mean, how does one find this out and just believe in it enough to devote one's whole life to it? I know that people do it with Atlantis and finding ancient tombs and such, but for someone so young to be working on something so old and obscure with so little believers, I was lacking assurance as to what his motives were.
To be honest, the whole ley line thing gave me heebie geebies from the start. I was sure that Henrietta was on a ley line, because of the psychics refusal to move and because of the whole corpse road thing, but it still made me think that bad things would happen if Gansey messed around with them. It also made me worried that Gansey would meet his predicted end by trying to fiddle with one.
The whole predicament with Blue's father is something that played on my mind throughout the story and even after I finished the book. It's even more suspicious that his name is Latin… I have a few theories about what he might be, like that he might have been fiddling with the ley line, possibly even working with Ronan's dad, and had some sort of power in him , which he passed on to Blue, which is why she is like a power-enhancing battery. He might have disappeared if he got caught up in something supernatural somewhere, but Ronan's dad left him. Then maybe Blue's dad got out of whatever trouble he was in, came back and tried to get back at Ronan's dad for leaving him. That's probably not even close but that is one of my theories.
When they found Noah's bones with his driver's license, my immediate thought was that because of how the time is really weird and creepy in Cabeswater this was Noah's dead body from the future maybe? But no, Noah was never alive throughout the story and he was in fact Whelk's best friend and the victim of Whelk's murder. I don't think anyone, even with the subtle hints left throughout the book, would've guessed that Noah was never alive.
I actually really liked Whelk at the start and I don't know why, because by the end I felt betrayed and sad that he'd been so horrid the whole time. When we found out that Noah's head had been smashed in and that he was in fact Czerny, I immediately knew Whelk had killed him. That was when I realised just how bad Whelk was. He was already talking about how much he hated Gansey and such and that was already ticking me off because I love Gansey a lot, and when I was reading another review, it commented on that maybe Gansey was shaped off Gatsby from The Great Gatsby, which them made so much sense in my brain because I love Gatsby, he's one of my favourite characters of all time, and that makes why I loved Gansey so much clearer.
Ronan is also very interesting in my mind because now it's apparent that he is also possibly supernatural, and somewhat similar to Blue, because the trees in Cabeswater knew him as well. He also has the tattoo on his back that seems to change, according to Gansey, and Chainsaw, his pet raven (beautifully ironic, seeing as though he's referred to as a Raven Boy). I think adding in this raven was a beautiful thing for Ronan's character, because through the moments he had with the raven, you could see that he was capable of being gentle and kind and loving, and that he did actually feel. Also at the end that line where he says that he got Chainsaw out of his dreams, I was and still am very confused at that and I can't wait to find out how that clears up in the next book. The scene where Gansey is staring at the wasp in his room and where Ronan kills it is another scene that allows us as the audience to see more deeper into his character, and to make us see that he really does actually care for Gansey. Their friendship is really interesting and wonderful, and I love how dynamic their relationship with Adam is as well.
Adam. There's a character I haven't talked much about. Adam was super cute from the start, but my mind was pushing him out of the way because of my strong feelings of affection for Gansey (sort of like my feelings towards Nick in The Great Gatsby wow what a surprise). I never really saw him and Blue going any further into their relationship. I am anxiously anticipating the moment where Blue leaves Adam for Gansey, because I think, ultimately, that's what's going to happen, and I'm not sure what will happen to Adam when that does.
I think that one of my favourite things is how well Gansey and Blue interact, and seeing them develop together. The way they started to tell each other things was really sweet and I think as a couple, they would work well, and it's not one of those relationships like Patch and Nora in Hush, Hush where the girl is super-dependant on the boy; but a strong, working together relationship like Anna and Peter in The Declaration. I was a bit disappointed when Gansey saw Glendower in that thing that they saw the dream-type things in, which I didn't really understand other than it showed either their future or most ideal future, instead of Blue. When Blue saw herself with Gansey, I started hoping that it showed the future, because as you probably already know, I love Gansey to the moon and back.
I can't wait to start the next book, which I believe is called the Dream Thieves, which might have something to do with the idea that Ronan pulled Chainsaw from his dream? I can't wait to see how the rest of the story is going to unfold and the waves that await me as I continue the Raven Boys journey in my ever-changing Raven Boys boat. I hope to get my hands on a copy soon.
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Have a lovely day!