Here's our review of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

Welcome to OCN's Virginia Book Club! Join us each month as we read a book that is either set in Virginia or written by one of our very own Virginia authors! We'll reveal the book on the first Thursday of the month on OCN and then review the book on the last Thursday of the month. Join the discussion in the comments! It's online, it's free, and it's fun!

May Selection:
The Raven Boys | by Maggie Stiefvater

Disclaimer: This book contains some mild language and concerns death and loss.

At the beginning of this month, I started a series of books called The Raven Cycle, and it might have been mentioned that it was the beginning of a great thing. Boy, was that a prediction. Speaking of predictions, let's talk psychics! Let's talk about magic, about history, about dead languages, about trees, about friendships, and about Virginia. I could just keep going and going. 

I am super pumped about The Raven Boys. "Why?" you might ask. Because it begins and ends with a mystery. I promise I won't spoil anything, but I was hooked from page one. It gave me all the familiarity of Virginia weather and scenery, and there was a Knights of the Round Table/adventure theme that I rather enjoyed. And the last paragraph left on such a cliffhanger that I had to fight the urge not to go out and get the second book even before I closed this one.

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There are three or four main characters: Blue Sargent (a daughter of a psychic), Richard Gansey the III (otherwise known as just Gansey), Adam Parrish, and Barrington Whelk. Other honorable mentions are Ronan Lynch, Noah, and Blue's mother Maura and aunts Calla, Neeve, Persephone, and Orla. 

Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah are students of Aglionby Academy, a fancy private high school that educates the youth of Henrietta, Virginia. Aglionby's crest is a raven, hence: "The Raven Boys." Gansey is the ring leader of the boys and keeps all of them afloat as they struggle through keeping their grades up, looking for ley lines, and managing loss and family issues.

Blue is the young daughter in a family of female psychics. She is the only one without psychic powers, but she makes everyone else's "magic" stronger. Blue is also cursed, in a sense, because every psychic she has ever met has told her that her first kiss would result in the death of whomever she kisses. Cue dramatic music. Dun dun DUH!

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Blue and Gansey do not hit it off well. But eventually, they become friends through the common goal of finding a laid-to-rest Welsh knight named Glendower. They believe that Glendower is buried somewhere near the town of Henrietta.

Gansey was led to the town through research and discovery since he has been searching ley lines for most of his young life. Henrietta is also home to some weird things – a family of female psychics isn't the weirdest thing that this town has seen. However, there is only so much I can tell you without spoiling everything. You'll just have to take my word for it and read it yourself.

All in all, personally the best thing about reading this book was not only the storyline, but it was also the experience. Don't get me wrong, I do read extensively for a person my age. However, for the past couple of years, I have learned to read like an analyst and deconstruct a book as I read it. This can mean a great time for a book reader, but after doing it so often with every book you come across, it makes reading a little bit of a chore. Thanks to my friend for suggesting this book, and Maggie Stiefvater, I have fallen back in love with reading.

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So run on down to the nearest bookstore or library or head on over to the website of your favorite book dealer and get yourself a copy of The Raven Boys.

Things to consider while reading:

1. Have you read Maggie Stiefvater's work before?

I vaguely remember reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater when I was a teenager.

2. Are you a fiction person or a non-fiction person? Do you dabble in all genres or crossover to others sometimes?

Personally, I am all about fiction, but I have read some amazing non-fiction books throughout the years.

3. What is your favorite book series? 

This is a difficult question to answer. I would have to say it's a tie between The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. However, The Raven Cycle is quickly rising in the ranks to meet them at the top.

Come back next month to see our June selection! Want more to read? Check out our review of Tim Seibles' Fast Animal.