The Raven Boys
Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Number of Pages: 416 (hardcover)
Advertised Age Level: Ages 13-17 years
Age and Grade of Main Character(s): 17, juniors in high school
Language: limited profanity, use of the “f” word
Sex: none – one character dreams about kissing another
Drug/Alcohol Use: references to one main character drinking beer and getting drunk
Violence: one character suffers child abuse, one character is robbed at gunpoint, one character frequently gets into fist fights
Social Issues: child abuse, death of parent, magic, wealth versus poverty, murder
Suggested Movie Grade: PG
Blue Sargent has grown up as the only non-psychic member of a household full of psychic women. When she accompanies one of her “aunts” to a yearly ritual on St. Mark’s Eve where the spirits of those who will die in the coming year show themselves, Blue finally sees her first mystical form – a boy who says his name is Gansey and who wears the uniform of the exclusive Aglionby Academy. Blue has always made it a priority to avoid the raven boys – boys who attend Aglionby – both because she believes they are rich and snobbish and because it is predicted that Blue will kiss and kill her one true love. However, she feels compelled to do something to keep Gansey from his fate.
Gansey, however, is busy on a quest he has spent the better part of his teenage years pursuing. Along with his friends Adam, Ronan, and Noah, Gansey is looking for magical ley lines that he believes will lead him to the legendary Welsh king Glendower. The myth holds that whoever awakens Glendower will be granted a wish, and Gansey is determined to find him.
When Blue enters Gansey’s life, things finally begin to happen. But not everything is good, and secrets begin to emerge that rock the group’s friendships to the core.
Potential Points of Concern: The story is based on the premise that magic, psychics and other mystical elements are real. Some scenes depict magical events that may be found intense by very sensitive readers.
Blue’s father is not known. By the end of the story, it is implied that he may have been some form of supernatural being or that something magical happened to make him disappear at the time of her birth.
Adam is abused by his father, and one scene depicts a rather brutal attack. His friend Ronan comes to his defense and gets involved in a fight with Adam’s father.
Gansey is robbed at gunpoint and believes he is about to be killed.
Ronan’s home life is unstable – his father was murdered and Ronan fights with his brother, both physically and verbally. Ronan nearly fails out of school. Ronan drinks, skips class, and is often getting into fights. Nothing is depicted graphically but rather referenced via the viewpoints of other characters.
Noah was murdered by a man in a ritual meant to awaken the energy of the magical ley lines. While the ritual is not described, his bones are discovered by Gansey and Blue.
The man who murdered Noah is trampled to death by mystical beasts. Not graphic or gory.
Age Appropriateness: 13 +