Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
First book in The Raven Cycle series
Started: June 7th 2017
Finished: June 18th 2017
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”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.From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
For the month of June, The Raven Boys was the book of the month that was read for the Goodreads Group Forgotten YA Gems. This is my first time participating in an actual book club and I have to say I was not disappointed.
Ok so this was completely unexpected. I had read Maggie’s Shiver trilogy and I wasn’t really wowed by it. But this! I came in not knowing what to expect. I had heard/seen some good responses to this series and was a bit hopeful. I was not disappointed I felt like this writing style was a bit different to the Shiver trilogy but still had the author’s style in it.
Characters: I really loved the characters and their really weird friendship. I feel like this is a book with good characters because there is a little of something for everyone.
Blue: Blue is an amazing independent and strong girl that you can’t help love. She is not afraid to stad up to you regardless of who you are. I feel like she has a nice and stable relationship with her family really helps shape her as a person. She does at times feel left out in not having an ability but she makes up for it by going on a quest to defy this thing she has always taken as truth.
Gansey: First impression was a snobbish rich kid that is unaware of his behavior. As the story progresses he find out he is the mother hen of the group. His heart is always in the right place when it comes to his friends. Even if he doesn’t know how to show he cares other than trying to solve everyone’s problems.
Then we have the whole thing of him being this mask like thing in front of everyone when in reality he carries this heavy burden that makes him seem mature. He is also someone who sees the bigger picture and wishes to leave his mark on the world.
Adam: First impression was shy, quiet and a bit reliable. He’s kinda cute. As we meet him we realize he has this problem in his family and with money. This makes him a strong and independent person. Yet this also makes him very stubborn. Adam was a character that I had trouble (and still do) placing. He is at times annoying in how he refuses other people’s help and this just makes me so mad because his friends just want to help. Yet at the same time we really see how Adam refuse because he wants to know he made the effort himself and got everything he wanted with his own work and sacrifices which is something I understand.
Noah: First impression Who? kidding! He’s just very easy to forget about and not really mentioned as much. As the story goes on he seems a bit like an adorable child that you just want to protect and love. It seemed to be like he was the quiet one of the group and also the youngest. When this thing was revealed about him later in the book… I was just so done…
Ronan: First impression, badass in an excellent way. He seems to have that to cover something. I have got to say that Ronan was my favorite of the boys. He really is this badass guy who takes shit from no one. Not even his family. Yet I also got this feeling that he thinks he is shit. Then we learn a thing from him that just really confirmed my suspicions. He is this guy with an act of being all tough and mighty to actually be someone who is broken on the inside.
Him being my favorite might not be pure chance… It think it’s just the fact that I have a type.
Plot: AND THE FREAKING PLOT!!!!! I loved the whole supernatural quest thing. I felt it was like one of those kind of King Arthur quests. I loved the psychics, the trees the normalcy the friendship. It was just an amazing journey.
Romance: Oh Stars Above!! Do I smell a love triangle!?!?! ughh
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEWARE*
Well to start off, the whole summary of the book just keeps you waiting for Blue and Gansey to get together. Only to get Adam and Blue together.
I am just waiting for Gansey and Blue ony to not get it. Which I like in the fact that we dont get this destiny relationship. Yet we do get this awkward one with Adam. I say kill the romance. Lets just all be friends.
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS END*
Though they do have that whole extra unrealistic teenage freedom. Although I did love this a lot better than other books were the characters have unrealistic times for homework, school, and work. Then magically being allowed by their parents to do whatever they want without being supervised by parent fearing things like drugs. This book really explains it by giving us rich boys who ditch school and a psychic mother that knows the importance of her daughters outings.
Now as a special Book Club Bonus I will be adding the discussion questions as well as my answers in deeper detail so..
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEWARE**POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEWARE**POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEWARE**POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEWARE**POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEWARE*
1. Would you rather have Maura’s psychic abilities, or be an amplifier like Blue?
I would rather be like Blue. I feel as a person it would be better to have less responsibility and such a burden on your shoulders. Plus it would mean not being afraid of having me take advantage on my powers,,,,not that I would.
2. What was your first impression of each of the Raven boys? Who is your favorite so far?
Gansey: seem kind of rich kid snobbish but it like he doesn’t notice it. Jut really a stereotype of rich people popped into my head when I first read him.
Adam: shy, quiet and a bit reliable. He’s kinda cute. Just relatable. We all broke and suffer through hardships. YEt that doesn’t mean he is going to be treated like a lesser person making him someone you can rely on.
Ronan: Badass in an excellent way. He seems to have that to cover something. Im sorry but I kind of thought any character that was like Daemon Black and Dean Winchester.
Noah: who? kidding! He’s just very easy to forget about and not really mentioned as much. He is just like that little kid brother someone brought that’s really shy. I also imagined him short.
3. Team Ronan? Team Declan? Or neither?
Team Ronan. I feel he has a right to his actions. Not that I support them. rather than being that supportive brother Ronan need , Declan is just a dick, Yw=eah I said it. Ronan has done and gone through a lot. SO yeah.
4. Out of the Raven boys, we learned the most this week about Gansey. What was your first impression of him?
Gansey seems like a nice guy who is used to being rich he forgets not everyone is. Or as intelligent. Yet he also has this spark to him and his dedication to his quest. Again he’s also that mother hen. Worrying about his boys even if they don’t worry about themselves.
5. I know that this is the first time reading any of Maggie’s work for a lot of us. Do you like her writing style so far?
This is actually my second time and I have got to say I enjoy this a lot more than her Shiver trilogy. I feel those warm feelings you sometimes het when you read an amazing book. Nothing like the Shiver trilogy were I only remember the basic main plot and the main character’s names.
1. Who is your favorite of the psychics: Maura, Neeve, Calla, Persephone, or Orla? Persephone she has this weird and mysterious thing around her that seems to be greater than the others. I kind of think Luna Lovegood for some reason. She was instantly one of my favorites among the psychics.
2. What do you think really happened when Neeve was “scrying”? Feels like demon possession or spirit. What was she doing? Maybe looking into ways to gain more power. She seems like the greedy type. As we have seen a both read a lot of paranormal and supernatural like books and am in love with the t.v show Supernatural. So based on the description I strongly suggest possession of some sort.
3. Have you impressions of each of the boys changed any? If so, how? The boys impression haven’t really changed just fit in to what I thought.
4. Why do you think the psychics were so angry at Whelk? He is messing with Glendower as well and they can see that what ever he has planned is not good. Seeing as they are psychics they could probably see into his sketchy past and see his intentions for the Ley lines.
5. What do you think Adam saw inside the hollow tree?
Maybe he plays some part in Gansey’s death and he was seeing that. Seeing as all this book wanted to remind us of was Gansey’s future death it was pretty obviouse that Adam probably had some part in it like everyone. Yet mainly him because of his clashes with Gansey over many things.
1. What did you think of Blue and Gansey’s solo outing? Do you see just friendship between the two of them, or the potential for something more?
Solo outing really gave us more of an understanding of Gansey’s true nature and how Blue really feels about what her family keeps telling her about her and Gansey.
As the story is right now I feel like they are just two amazingly close friends. There could be something based on the fact that Gansey just really loves (as a friend) Blue for her willingness to help on the quest and just her interest in it. But for now that’s it. I feel like Blue feels the push from her families readings yet a friend relationship is all I feel. AND I LOVE IT!!
2. Were you surprised by the twist regarding Noah?
I was just starting to really fall for Noah and his cute ways and relationship with Blue. Then all of a sudden “SMACK” he’s actually dead. I feel like we all knew something was off but we didn’t really want to think about it or inspect it closer based on the fact that we were just meeting the boys and didn’t know if Noah was kidding when he told them he was dead. I audibly gasped and was just so done. They words shit almost left my lips. It would have, had my sister not been in my room and for me to remember to censor my language to shoot.
3. When Blue, Calla, and Persephone looked through Neeve’s room, they found something that Calla referred to as a protection for Neeve. Why do you think Neeve felt the need to create it? I feel that her just messing around with things she is not supposed to has just made her wary and feel like she needs to watch her back.
4. We learned a lot of bad news about Mr. Whelk in this week’s reading. Why do you think he wants to wake Glendower so badly?
He may just want his life to go back to how it was. Rich and without worry. He just has this greed and malice aura around him that gives of the impression that he would do anything to have his life back.
5. Chapter 36 ended on a really big note with Adam and Ronan. Why do you think Ronan jumped in to protect Adam
Again Ronan is my favorite because he’s that kind of character that seems to not care but he actually just wants to protect everything he holds dear. I feel he was a protective instinct like with the raven. It’s just that the trauma with his father has kind of left him a bit broken. Although he and Adam had fought I think he felt a responsibility to protect his friend knowing Adam wouldn’t do anything. It would seem that all though he acts like he doesn’t care and all scary and badass. I think he is just scared of losing this fragile normality he has with his friends that the thought of Adam getting hurt just makes him not want to feel as helpless as he was to stop his dads death and protect his friend. Yet I honestly do not like to assume nor do I like to let my shipping addiction get the best of me but…..Can I?…Well its too late. This ship has sailed with or without me. I feel like Ronan has only shown genuine feeling and emotion with things concerning Adam. Which makes sense in how he was just tired of watching Adam get treated like a punching bag by his father.
1. Adam and Gansey had a pretty bad fight when Gansey picked him up from the hospital. If you had to pick sides, whose side would you pick in their argument?
oh no I hate this question. I feel like both boys have their hearts in the right place. It’s like my brother wanting to pay for something I want even though I’ve worked to buy it myself. But my brother knows what it means to me. So in this case I guess neither. I feel a big lack of communication here. I feel like Adam and Gansey should just sit down and talk about what they both want. Fo Adam to understand how Gansey just wants the best for him and his life. And for Gansey to see and understand how Adam wants to grow on his own and become his own person.
2. Were you surprised to find out Neeve was further involved than she had previously let on?
Heck No! If any of thought she wasn’t shady then you might have to go back and reread.
3. Where do you think Neeve went when she disappeared?
I have no clue. Maybe to do another of her creepy other world searching.
4. “Grave robbing” is generally considered a pretty foul crime. Do you think it was acceptable, what Blue and the boys did by digging Noah up and moving him?
I…….am ok with this. Sure its illegal but Noah was originally on the Ley line. Regardless of how he died. I also feel like he would have still remained with the boys and without being on the line he wouldn’t be the Noah we love. I think Noah would have not been able to “die” right based on the fact that he was sacrifices in order to wake the Ley lines. Meaning his wasnt a natural death. Had they not removed his body and put it in its right full place I would have been upset and Noah would have just continued to fade.
5. Ronan left us with a really intriguing confession. What do you think he meant by it?
I have no clue. Yet I feel like this is going to be something big.
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS END*
ADDITIONAL QUESTION: Would anyone be interested in continuing the series together if I create an unofficial buddy read thread for the second book?
YESSS!!! Is this even a question this book was amazing and I need the next one. I would love to buddy read with everyone who is willing. I loved this book and have already checked out book Two from the library and cant wait to start.