By Kristen Harris
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of reading about teenagers who save the world. The Hunger Games was enough. Divergent was pushing it. Don’t even get me started on anything about the zombie apocalypse.
A few years ago, I wanted to find a series I could stay with for a long time. I found “the one” in Maggie Steifvater’s The Raven Boys.
This book isn’t set in some not-so-distant future with an oppressive government and a teenage Messiah. Rather, The Raven Boys is just a book about teenagers doing what teenagers do- making friends, driving their cars too fast, and discovering a magical forest.
Wait, that’s not what all teenagers do?
The Raven Boys isn’t exactly about everyday kids. It follows Blue Sargent, the only non-psychic resident of an all-female household, and four prep school students from an all boys school. After Blue sees the spirit of one of the boys, Gansey, in a graveyard on St. Mark’s Eve, she makes it her mission to find him. Unfortunately for her, he’s one of the raven boys. Nevertheless, once connected, Blue and the boys became fast friends.
Here’s the catch, though: Blue is destined to kill her true love if she kisses him, and the only reasons a non-psychic would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve is if it’s that person’s true love or that person’s murder victim. Blue can tick both categories.
When I first started reading The Raven Boys, I was worried it was going to be another crappy Twilight wannabe. I’m so thankful I was wrong.
Though the back-of-the-book summary brands The Raven Boys as another star-crossed YA romance, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The real love story is the friendship that Blue and the boys find in each other. The closest thing to a “love triangle” comes from Gansey’s obsession with finding where the dead Welsh king Owen Glendower is buried.
This book isn’t about romance or overthrowing the government. It’s about five friends on a quest to find what their fearless leader has been searching for his whole life. Their search for Glendower leads them deep into a sentient forest and nightmares and dark magic. Best of all, they’ve got four books to do it.