Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Today is the release of Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. You need to read this book. Trust me. I tell you with the conviction I felt for Beautiful Creatures and The Night Circus. You need to read this.

The Raven Boys is a book about my (fictional) friends Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah. They are not always good to each other, but they are so good for each other. They are that group of people who create their own ecosystem; who are each other's equilibrium. It makes them the kind of friends one wants in one's life, but it also means they're the people who can hurt each other the most. They are going to do so before this four book series is finished; I can feel it in my bones.

Blue is from a family of psychics; the only one who has no apparent abilities. She simply amplifies others. Her family would tell you the future is a hazy, indistinct thing—but one inevitability has been told to Blue all her life: She will kiss her true love, and it will be the death of him.

Gansey is from old money. He's grown up with wealth and privilege, but desperately does not want to be That Rich Guy. Unfortunately, he can't see himself from outside his own skin. He can't observe the unconscious way that he treats money and people.

Adam can. Adam grew up poor. He's a scholarship kid determined to be his own man. As a result, he both adores Gansey and resents him.

Ronan is angry. His father died, and it (metaphorically) killed Ronan, too. He hates with a double-edged loathing that wants to wound everyone, including himself.

Noah is a bit of a mystery. Shy. Quiet. Sad. Kind. But he's as key to the group dynamic as any other member.

The beauty of this book is watching this family of friendship envelop Blue, and how she amplifies its bonds and weaknesses.

Also, there is a pet raven, a quest for a lost Welsh king, ley line magic, a whispering forest, and jokes. It is damn near everything I love—robots would've been out of place—in a single book, with prose so lovingly crafted it steals my breath and makes my heart ache.

There are smart books, and there are fine books, and there are books that make one cry and laugh. But there are few books who ask if they can stay, long-term, be friends for life. The Raven Boys is one of them.

You need to read it.


Library Gal @Lost in the Library said...

Perfectly said. I loved this book.

Unknown said...

I may or may not check this one out. I'm hoping Stiefvater hasn't gone too far over to the literary side.