the raven boys
Format reviewed: Print

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is a young adult paranormal story about Blue, her family, and some boys from a nearby private school.  Everyone in Blue’s family is psychic … except for her. Blue does have a gift, she acts as an amplifier for other psychics.  Blue has had a number of readings over the years and the upshot is that it was foretold that she would kiss her true love and he would die.  Needless to say, Blue has never kissed a boy.

Blue’s mother Neeve does readings for people in town and every St. Mark’s eve she goes to an old dilapidated church to see the spirits.  There are two types of spirits you can see on St. Mark’s eve:  those who will die within the next year or your true love.  Blue’s mother has Blue accompany her so that Blue’s amplifying ability will make it easier for her to see who will die in the next year.  A strange thing happens that night, Blue, who has no psychic abilities sees a spirit.  It is a boy and she deduces from his clothes that he is from the nearby private school.

Meanwhile, the boys from the school are on an adventure.  It seems that the town lies on a leyline of power.  They believe that an ancient Welsh king was brought to America and reburied nearby somewhere on the leyline.  One of the boys sees an advertisement for psychic readings and has the idea that maybe a psychic could help them find the buried king.  They call for an appointment with Blue’s mother, and that is how Blue comes face to face with the boy from her vision.

The story has a lot of paranormal elements, but it didn’t seem like a horror story.  Generally, the paranormal elements were presented well and I was kept interested in how things would unfold.  The story had a few uneven spots and some elements were stereotypical.  For example, rich privileged boys from a private school meet poor town girl.  There is a star-crossed love interest between the girl and the rich boy.  That said, the story was original and I never felt that I was rereading a story that had been told before.  The Raven Boys is a fun book and readers who enjoy the paranormal mixed with mystery and a bit of romance will find it satisfying.