Let me just start off by saying that the only reason I started this series was because so many of my writing friends have fan girled about it. Like, literally every person who I go to for book recs has said "OMG YOU NEED TO READ THE RAVEN CYCLE." I was hesitant because 1) I'm not the biggest fan of magical realism / books centered around prophecies and 2) the only other work I've read by Stiefvater is her SHIVER series and tbh I was not a fan. But, alas, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to dig into this series and WOW I'm so glad I did.
“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.”
Blue has been told for her entire life that she causes the death of her true love. Which seems like totally traumatizing knowledge, right? Kiss = death seems pretty dramatic, and I'll admit I at first rolled my eyes at this proclamation. Blue sort of just takes it in stride though, not planning on falling in love any time soon. But then there's GANSEY and the rest of the Raven Boys, and Blue quickly gets swept up in their world and in their search to awaken Glendower... also getting swept up in Gansey despite her resistance. She's the only person in her family that's not a psychic, so she gets swept up in the mystery and magic that surrounds The Raven Boys.
To me, though, the strength of this series comes from two components: boys & family.
1. I think I love these Raven Boys just as much as Blue does. Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah are such a unit, and it's so refreshing because for the first time I'm seeing boys as boys, not as these idealized creatures with smoking bodies and perfect personalities to match that so often exists in YA. These boys felt real to me, with wants and desires and feelings, and love for their friendship and for each other. The dependence that the Raven Boys have on each other, how they care about and lean on each other really makes this series for me.
2. And family. I love how important family is in this series. And I love the strong women that make up Blue's weird psychic family. Since this series is told in third person, often times we'd get chapters from the adult's POV and that was pretty cool because it's not something that you see very often in young adult. I love how Stiefvater shows us all of the families, and how the boys and Blue are the way they are because of their upbringing. So many books, particularly in this genre, ignore family, but in THE RAVEN CYCLE it's brought to the forefront and that's pretty awesome.
2b. The disparity in class / wealth is also refreshing to see. To see a rich kid know that he's privileged. Some of Gansey and Adam's biggest arguments are over Adam not wanting Gansey's charity, he needs to work through everything himself. Blue coming to terms with the fact that going to the college she wants is probably not realistic due to financial reasons. I don't know I just really like the blend, and how even through their friendship, money issues still come up.
I could ramble on forever about this series. I'm so glad I read it, but part of me wishes that I waited a bit longer because HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL FEBRUARY 2016 FOR THE CONCLUSION.
Have you read this series? Let's talk about it. Not read it yet? You should!