Backlist Bonus: The Raven Boys

17675462by Maggie Stiefvater
YA Paranormal Fantasy
4 of 5 stars

This was the first Stiefvater book I read, and since then I’ve come to adore her style and attention to detail. The mood of this series is dreamy, haunting, and also comical, and the balance is perfect. Blue Sargent lives in a small, sleepy Virginia town whose prep school mascot, a raven, has her referring to the four preppy boys she encounters as Raven Boys. They are a chaotic mess of ambition and angst, and Blue’s initial revulsion turns to intrigue as she discovers their leader of sorts, Gansey, is on a quest to find a dead Welsh king buried under a mountain, said to grant a wish to whoever discovers him. She’s skeptical by nature, but she also lives with her mother and aunts, all very accurate psychics, so she gets caught up in an ever-weirder chain of events.

It’s refreshing to me that Stiefvater specializes in this sort of strange, paranormal, magical-realism that doesn’t require pages of intense stares and romance. It’s eerie and gripping and hard to write about without including spoilers.

You never quite know what to expect in this series (the fourth and final book comes out in 2016) but the writing is top-notch and the characters are fantastic. I would follow them to the ends of the earth–which is a more realistic option in this case than it usually is.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, The Raven Boys is available on Goodreads and its parent company Amazon. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – Possibly my favorite novel of hers, mostly because it’s a standalone so you don’t have to agonize over which part of the saga is the best. It feels like a lyrical film (it’s slated to become one soon-ish), and if you love her writing for The Raven Cycle there’s more of it here. See my review here.
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – You probably noticed these covers all over bookstores a couple years back. This paranormal romance trilogy features a girl falling for a boy that might also be the wolf she sees every winter in her back yard. I haven’t read it myself yet but I’ve only heard good things.
  • Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma – This has the same creepy feeling and characters that slowly reveal the darker sides of themselves. See my review here.
  • Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis – Another creepy read that adds gradual layers hinting that not everything is what it seems (and what you thought it was is already weird). See my review here.
  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke – Three unreliable narrators tell you about creepy events in a small mountain town. Who is telling the truth? See my review here.

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