True love’s kiss doesn’t break the spell

Blue Sargent has been the odd one out in her family her whole life. In a family of psychics, her only ability appears to be a speaker of sorts: her presence just strengthens the connection between the psychic and the spirit. Her whole life she has been told never to fall in love because if she kisses her true love, he will die. Until one fateful evening when she finds out her true love will die within the year, when she sees his ghost on Saint Mark's Eve. On top of that, she learns her true love, a boy by the name of Gansey, is one of the dreaded Aglionby students, an academy for the rich and snobby.

Richard Gansey III has been on a quest for the past 5 years to find the legendary Glendower. A Norse king rumored to be sleeping somewhere under the spirit lines. His chase has led him to Henrietta, Virginia and Aglionby Academy. With his friends Ronan, Adam, and Noah they spend their weekends and nights looking for clues. When Gansey (as well as the other Raven boys) and Blue meet, Blue is convinced there's no way Gansey is her true love.  Yet something about the group is intriguing and lovable, and Blue Sargant finds herself unable to resist helping the boys in their quest. However, she quickly learns that this is much riskier and dangerous than she thought, and that her family is tied to this quest in a very dangerous and messy way.

The Raven Boys is the first book in the Raven Cycle, which is probably the best series I've picked up in 2016, or in a while really. I'm on the third book of this series already, and I love the aesthetic of the books.  Definitely the best part of this series is the characters. All of them are so relatable, even the seemingly untouchable rich boys:

  • Blue, who at 16 doesn't care much for love: she has forbidden herself from ever being in a relationship.
  • Ronan, who suffered through such a trauma that it changed him completely.
  • Adam, the hardworking boy dead set on building himself up from rock bottom.
  • Noah, the mysterious boy who just wants love.
  • Gansey, the headstrong leader who's obsessed with his search and refuses to accept failure.

I flew through the Raven Boys, and only put it down when I was absolutely forced to. Stiefvater's writing is so beautiful and intriguing and the way she has so many seemingly unconnected strands come together is truly magical. All of her characters are so well flushed out making it simple to follow the story, even with a complex plot. The Raven Boys had me laughing one moment and the next, terrified for a character's life. I highly recommend this book because as soon as you begin, the story will completely envelop you and the endings will leave you wanting more.

-Nika, (Dusen)Berry blogger and member of the River Teen Advisory Board

Also available as an audio book with an enchanting narrator here: The Raven Boys