I heard about tragic boys and unimaginable quirkiness so of course I’M HERE AND READY FOR IT. And boy did this book deliver on THAT and all it’s hype.
This was possibly the quirkiest most wonderful book ever. You know all the people that scream at you to read this book? WELL YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THEM YOU PANCAKE!! I am in awe because this was AMAZING!
Of course I picked up this book after Cait @Paperfury screamed at every human who ever read one of her blogposts to read it and since all my favorite bookish people are obsessed with this series I had to read it. Needless to say, now I am questioning if my favorite series of all time is still Harry Potter…basically I am questioning my entire identity as a reader… I hope ya’ll are happy over my existential crisis.
Also I read some mix reviews on the whole series so I kinda went into this with low expectations…but I ended up an INCREDIBLY PRESENTLY SUPERSIZED LIZARD. So…I think that is a good thing right??
Now that I finished hyping this one up real good for you, I highly encourage you to go read it without knowing much. So like…don’t read the rest of the review…I mean it IS spoiler free until I say it’s not but it’s best to go in blind as a bat.
My synopsis: Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah are our main characters. And there is a plot…that you can’t possibly describe without sounding weird or making any kind of sense so I am just going to list some things that you can definitely find in this book. Ahem: a strong family dynamic, magic, incredible and unique characters, ghosts, mythology and faerie-esc vibes. Yes that is the best I can do sorry.
Maggie Stievater’s writing was incredible!
It wasn’t OVERLY PRETENTIOUS but it wasn’t simple either. All I ever see in reviews is praise for her “unique lyrical writing” and can I just say that that is happily not the case? I usually hate pretentious writing (scandalous opinions on my blog today) because it feels like someone stuffs cotton in my mouth. And this thankfully was anything but. The writing really grips you and the descriptions of settings were SURREAL. I could imagine everything clearly and that doesn’t happen all that often (But this one’s mostly my fault though not the author’s since I don’t know every single English word in existence for describing minor building details ok sorry my bilingual brain can only go so far until it goes nope and takes a vacation).
The atmosphere and world building also just made the magic plausible in a way. Plausible magic now that’s a sentence Maggie made me write in case you needed any more convincing. We are not really offered an explanation for the magic, you just have to accept it.
The family dynamic was also pretty incredible. Blue grew up in a familly made up entirly of her pshich aunts so the girl power there was pretty incredible. And her mother was present and understanding and DIDN’T DIE. Blue is open about a lot of things with them and they really help her. Woooow can you imagine??
Also can we talk about Persephone and her pie?
“Perhaps I will make a pie.” Blue looked anxiously to Persephone. Pie making was a lenghty and loving process, and Persephone did not like to be interupted during it.”
Isn’t it just the most precious thing you have ever read??
Now onto the characters BECAUSE OMG I LOVE THEM and I have adopted them as my children:
- Blue: Oh she was so fun to read about. She was so weird and quirky and not in an annoying “not like other girls”way. Like she literally grew up in a house of psychics…it seemed natural for her to feel a bit weirder then most. Also she didn’t want to fall in love which was #reletable. I mean yeah there was the whole thing with “don’t kiss your true love or they will die” thing which is a good enough reason not to want to have anything to do with boys ever but…like…imagine this…NO ANNOYING ROMANCE !! I SAY THANK YOU TO THAT AND PLEASE KINDLY POINT ME INTO THE DIRECTION OF CHOCOLATE!!
- Gansey (cough*Richard Dick Campell the third*cough) : My sweet baby angel too good for this world too pure. This boy is totally obsessed with a dead welsh king somebody help him. Also he totally was the mother friend in the group. And can we talk about how this boy literally made a journal/ scrap-book FOR THE AESTHETIC OF IT???? What a nerd.
- Adam: Well wasn’t he just soft and tragic? Even though his inner struggles outright contradicted and clashed with Gansey I could still understand where he was coming from and sympathize while also getting Gensey’s side of things AND STILL LIKING BOTH BOYS. AND DAMN IF THAT ISN’T GOOD WRITING I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.
- Ronan: Everybody seems to reeeeally like Ronan so I am holding back strong opinions for later books, but right now my feelings on him are : he is not my favorite but the story would really miss an essential part without him. My favorite part about Ronan is in how many different ways can Maggie manage to describe his personality and still manage to not make it boring. An example:
“ What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.”
Also he named a small bird Chainsaw. Yes they are all just huge nerds.
- Noah: …Tragic nerd ghost boy. He is also a bit of a drama queen but hey you would be too is you were literally dead. (And I mean he did tell them he was dead HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE IT LIKE HOW YOU BIG BUNCH OF AFFECTIONATE LOSERS?!)
The trees speaking Latin was so amazing actually. It reminded me of a cartoon I watched when I was little where rocks could talk and move but only a girl could hear them?? And she just hear their voices in her head so it was all very mystical and ancient?? The cartoon was called Animalia if you are curious. Anyway I just adored that part.
Also quick PS: Authors? You know how ya’ll think edgy you’re edgy for using Latin words that no-one understands?…Well…*raises hand* I kinda understand them. And It Sounds RIDICULOUS. For example – Poor Professor Lupin McWolfpants – I didn’t know why him being a werewolf was so surprising since “lup” is actually the Romanian word for wolf. I end up spoiling myself for everything here.
Spoiler spoilers (for real this time):
I saw it coming. Ok I was maybe slightly spoiled that Noah was a ghost and about his name so I pieced the rest together. And I knew that the Latin teacher was the bad guy from the start because he was really shady. The dude was a psychopath even though he missed the friend that he himself killed. Annnnd he also missed guacamole because can you be more of an asshole?? I mean yeah I understand crying after guacamole obviously (it’s soooo goood honestly) BUT DUDE YOU ARE DYING AND YOU TRIED TO KILL 2 children stop it.
But I did not see the stuff about Neeven coming…like she was plain annoying and kind of stupid but hey I understand eating hummus with crackers because you are nervous.
Also everything is ok but also not really because everyone is traumatized. Like yey we defeated the bad guys but everybody is still sad. Why do I feel like this is a reoccurring theme for Maggie’s books??
Overall: WOW. WOW. WOW (superstitious bunch of threes because all good things come in three after all). This is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. GO READ IT!! And stare at pretty Bookstagrams] pictures of the series!!
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is 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 has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, 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 never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.