Here is a little snippet about myself: I am a big reader.
I love books. The smell of new and old books, the heartwarming feeling of starting a new story, getting lost in hours of a fictional life, it is all pretty amazing to me. I also collect books, and every now and again I come across a story that makes me ignore everything else in the name of spending more time with its characters.
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater, has been one of those books. It is also, for me, an amazing example of what I think a “cool girl book” is. So I thought it was only fitting that it was the first post in my reading tag.
The premise of the book is simple: Blue Sargent has been told, throughout her life, that when she kissed her true love, he would die. Putting it like that, though, makes it seem like your usual young adult romance/drama/supernatural series that involves fantastic creatures and clichés. It is, however, none of that.
Maggie Stiefvater instead delivers an enticing story about friendship, cars, enchanted places and lovable characters. It is unexpectedly sweet, exciting and filled with heartwarming plot twists. The Raven Boys was one of those rare first-in-a-series books that had me wishing I had access to all of its sequels immediately.
The main characters are all relatable, and Stiefvater manages to touch on heavy subjects (such as death, abusive relationships and mentions of suicide) with softness. And though its villains (or morally dubious characters) still leave that particular bitter taste in your mouth, they do so somewhat pleasantly, such is the talent of this author with words. Maggie Stiefvater provided me with exactly the sort of literature I seek, the sort that makes me wonder afterwards, the sort that makes me search for similar stories, similar characters (and, inevitably, fanfiction).
The Raven Boys, above all, left me wanting (for magic, for more, for something you can’t quite put your finger on), which is why I believe it is a perfect cool girl book. The longing Gansey (one of the main characters) experiences was mirrored by myself as I read the story, and I was amazed with the feelings that lingered once I was done. Although it isn’t a biography of a famous designer, or the style tips of a savvy blogger, Maggie Stiefvater’s thrilling beginning to The Raven Cycle inspires a feeling much more profound feeling of belonging and not quite belonging. I was taken to the streets of Henrietta easily, but could see myself reading that story by a beach in Cannes, or in a rainy London afternoon.
It is that transfixed experience that I look for in books. That sense of being taken to somewhere else entirely, and that I gladly found in this beautiful first installment.
I will refrain from commenting on the other books in the series, but to say that none of the sequels have disappointed me thus far (I still haven’t read the last book, The Raven King, but I doubt it will be different). I highly recommend this if you want to be transported to a much more magical version of the world, or if you want to read about types of love that don’t necessarily involve kissing.