Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Agent/Author Marlo Berliner and Refe Tuma Guest Post With Frances and the Monster and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/15/2022
  • Lynette Novak Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/17/2022
  • Sarah Fink Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/12/2022
  • Jazmia Young Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 9/21/2022

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

THE RAVEN BOYS REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

I’m so excited to share Maggie Stiefvater's THE RAVEN BOYS with you. As those of you who’ve been following me know, I’m a HUGE fan of Maggie Stiefvater. I found her first book, LAMENT, THE FAERIE QUEEN’S DECEPTION, at the library in 2008 and have been a fan ever since. A highlight of my life was meeting Maggie at a book signing two years ago. 

Here’s a blurb of THE RAVEN BOYS from Goodreads:

“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.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

This is one of my favorite books by Maggie. I LOVED it! I was immediately sucked into the story in the first few pages learning that Blue’s psychic family has predicted that if Blue kisses her true love, he’d die. So she vows never to fall in love. How can you not be sucked into that?

She’s the only one in her family who isn’t psychic, but her presence increases their powers. Then when she goes with her mom’s mysterious half-sister Neeve to record the-soon-to-be dead, for the first time she sees a boy named Gansey who speaks to her. And you can see in the above blurb what Neeve tells her that means.

Of course, Blue meets Gansey and his faithful friends Adam, Ronan, and Noah. Gansey’s mission is to find the ley lines that Henrietta, Virginia is situated on. He hopes it will help him discover where a mysterious Welsh king is buried and to unlock the king’s secrets. It’s fascinating watching their search for the ley lines and seeing the magical world they discover. Maggie has created such an interesting world of everyday Henrietta, where Blue lives, the private boarding school of Aglionby where Gansey, Ronan, and Noah live and Adam goes to school, and this hidden world they discover. I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to see where their quest would take them.

Not only has Maggie created an amazing hidden world and search for the ley lines, but she’s also created the most interesting, memorable characters. Blue lives with her psychic mother and her mom’s psychic friends Persephone and Calla. Then her mom’s mysterious half-sister Neeve comes to stay. The family dynamics are so interesting. Blue is an independent teen who doesn’t take crap from anyone. And you can’t help sympathizing with her plight of never being able to fall in love and worrying that she’ll somehow cause Gansey’s death.

Gansey is a rich boy who has everything and could just be a party boy. Instead, he cares deeply for his friends, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, and does what he can to help them. And he’s obsessed with finding the ley lines and the body of the Welsh king. You’ll have to read the story to find out why. Adam, Ronan, and Noah are equally compelling in their own ways. They all have back stories that totally connect with the plot and why they embark on the dangerous quest with Gansey. 

Blue’s relationship with Gansey and his friends develops very naturally from not wanting to have anything to do with them to a deepening friendship. Maggie does a really good job of the little love triangle relationship between Blue, Gansey, and Adam. I’m not usually a fan of love triangles, but this one is done perfectly. 

There’s a lot of narration here, which would normally slow down the story for me. But not here. The fantastic plot, the desire to learn about the ley lines, the Welsh king, the world Blue and her friends discover, and the totally fascinating characters kept the pages flying. I consumed this in two days. I so recommend that you read this book. And I’m super excited that this is a four book series. I can’t wait to read more.

I'm giving away my ARC because I want to share this awesome book with you. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on October 27th. I’ll announce the winner on October 29th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. 

And don't forget to enter my contests for CREWEL,  THE TORN WING and ASHEN WINTER, three awesome books. The links to the contests are at the top of the blog.

Here's what's coming up:


On Friday I'll be sharing a guest post by debut author Jordan Jacobs and giving away a copy of his middle grade book, SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE LABYRINTH OF LIES. It's a story about a legendary ghost, a hidden treasure, and a ancient temple in Peru. 

Next Monday, I'm interviewing debut author Shelby Bach and giving away a copy of OF GIANTS AND ICE. It's a unique fairy tale retelling centering around the Ever After School. It's a story I really enjoyed and I think you will too.

Next Wednesday, I'm interviewing debut author Laura Ellen and giving away an ARC of BLIND SPOT, a fantastic contemporary YA book about a girl who's dealing with macular degeneration, a schoolmates death, and a whole lot more. 

The following Monday I am SO excited to share an interview with New York Times best selling author Cinda Williams Chima and give away a copy of THE CRIMSON CROWN, book 4 in The Seven Realms series. This is a fantastic fantasy series as good as George Martin's A GAME OF THRONES. Even if you haven't read the other books in Cinda's series, you'll want this book and you'll want to read Cinda's awesome advice. She's an amazing  writer that I was lucky enough to meet at a SCBWI conference. 

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you Friday!





60 comments:

Weaver said...

Love the sound of this book. I'm so in, and I'm already a follower.

Cool cover, too.

Maji Bookshelf said...

Thanks for this awesome giveaway! Already a follower!
majibookshelf(at)gmail(dot)com

- Farah @ MajiBookshelf

Creepy Query Girl said...

I have to say, I didn't particularly like the Mercy Falls trilogy, but this looks and sounds like something I might want to read! Thanks for the review!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Geesh, Natalie,

You've totally sold me! Adding to my TBR list now.

Neysa Kristanti said...

I've been hearing tons of good things about this book, so I really can't wait for it!
Thanks for the chance :D

email : mnkbooklife (at) yahoo (dot) com

Unknown said...

I would love to read The Raven Boys.

Tweet: https://twitter.com/Acciomalfoyz/status/258555810039336960

darkenf(at)rocketmail(dot)com

E. Arroyo said...

On my TBR!
email: Elizabeth(dot)arroyo5(at)gmail.com

I'm listed under Elizabeth or Chandara, blogger hates me. =)

Kristin Lenz said...

Maggie's books are so highly regarded, the stories are all so rich. Thanks for sharing your review. Lots of good interviews coming up, too!

Juliana L. Brandt said...

I've been really excited to read this book! It sounds amazing.

I follow by email subscription :) julianalbrandt[at]gmail[dot]com

Anita Saxena said...

Love Maggie Stiefvater!
Can't wait to read this book.
Anita@anitasaxena dot com

Stephanie Jobe said...

I live on my RSS feed. I am so excited about this book and so poor. *Want!*

Rose Green said...

I'm already a follower. Definitely enter me in the drawing!

Martina Boone said...

I loved this book, too! It wasn't as lyrical as her SHIVER series, nor was it as deeply characterized as SCORPIO RACES, but it really hit that sweet spot of unusual myth. Plus I'm a sucker for Welsh history and legends and magic in general, and I loved how she wove it all together and brought it into the new world. (Also, I adored Gansey.) Can't wait for the sequel!

Thanks so much for sharing your brilliant reviews, Natalie!

Best,

Martina

Caitlin said...

I was completely shocked how much I loved this book!

Shiefvater does it again!

Hannah Milton said...

I just started this one the other day, and it's already really good. Blue's quirky family is hilarious, and so far I really like the writing style.

I haven't read any of her other books, but I might have to, now. Thanks for the review!

mshatch said...

I will most definitely have to come back for all the good stuff you've got planned and after reading your review and the blurb for The Raven Boys, I definitely want to win that, too!

Liesel K. Hill said...

Awesome review, Natalie! This one's high on my TBR list! :D

Anonymous said...

I gotta read this book. LOVE Maggie S's stuff. :)

Rosalyn said...

I would love to win this! (But I have to confess, the thing that got me most excited from this post is your upcoming interview with Cinda Williams Chima. I just discovered her books a few weeks ago and can't wait for the final book in the Seven Realms series!)

CB Soulsby said...

Can't wait to read! charlottesoulsby(at)yahoo(dot)com

Rachna Chhabria said...

This book sounds super cool. Thanks Natalie for introducing me to this great book.

Creative A said...

I'm impressed you're giving away your ARC copy! Kudos. Also, commenting on this:

"Next Monday, I'm interviewing debut author Shelby Bach and giving away a copy of OF GIANTS AND ICE. It's a unique fairy tale retelling centering around the Ever After School. It's a story I really enjoyed and I think you will too."

So excited! I love Shelby and it will be great to see her here on your blog :)

-Mandy

Kris @Imaginary Reads said...

I haven't gotten around to reading this book yet, but I've heard so many good things about it. Thanks for your careful note of the romance and Blue's situation, family and romance-wise. Characters and world-buliding are two important elements to me when reading a book, and I'm glad to hear that it's so well done. I can't wait to read this one!

Gayle C. Krause said...

Terrific review, Natalie. Please enter me in the drawing to win THe Raven Boys. I loved the Shiver trilogy of Maggie's and am anxious to delve into this new one.

Diane T said...

Really enjoyed Scorpio Races and this one sounds interesting, too! Sign me up!

Ella Schwartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Texas Book Lover said...

Love Maggie's books and this one sounds like it will be fabulous as well!

Thanks for the chance!
old follower: Texas Book Lover

mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book!

Ella Schwartz said...

Great review! I've been dying to read this book.
ella(at)ellaschwartz (dot)net

Texas Book Lover said...

Sorry forgot to put my tweet:

https://twitter.com/TexasBookLover/status/258634306409353216

Steve MC said...

Maggie's the best.

Beth said...

Okay, I'm definitely intrigued by the description! Sounds great!

And what a great set of posts you have coming up. Can't wait to read them.

Unknown said...

Ooh, I was just looking to read this and was checking out some reviews. Thanks for sharing yours! I've tweeted about this giveaway :)

Stina said...

Sounds like a great book, but alas, I still have three of her other ones I've yet to read. One I won. One I bought for my son (he got bored and gave up on it). And one for a series I was following, but I have had a chance to read it.

Marquita Hockaday said...

I love Maggie Steifvater and this book sounds AMAZING--just like all her others! Thanks for hosting so many giveaways :D

Margay Leah Justice said...

This does sound like such a cool book!

Jill the OWL said...

I met her once and she is pretty cool! Heard lots of great things.

~Sia McKye~ said...

This is one I'm going to have to check out. Thanks for the heads up, Natalie!

Angela Brown said...

Sounds like this novel has a level of depth that would be easy to slip into and wrap one's self in. Great review, Natalie.

Mundie Moms said...

Great review!!! Maggie's one of my all time favorite story tellers.

Cassandra @ Book & Movie Dimension a Blog said...

Thank you for the giveaway!

E-mail-bookandmoviedimensionblogger[at]yahoo[dot]com

Sophia Chang said...

What a great one!!!

also tweeted: https://twitter.com/sophthewriter/status/258854264707883009

Theresa Milstein said...

I saw a signed copy of this at Porter Square books this weekend and almost bought it. I'm trying to curb my book spending. Maybe I should go back...

Barbara Watson said...

Sounds like a special book. It's inspiring when you meet those whose work you admire.

Lydia Kang said...

You have the best giveaways! I totally want to read this. :)

Stephanie Garber said...

Thanks for this giveaway! I've been wanting to read this book!

sngarber (@) gmail (dot) com

Brenda said...

I've been hearing wonderful things about this book. The cover looks wonderful and great review. I also tweeted.

Https://twitter.com/LogCabinLibrary/status/259119030336618497

Robin said...

Can't wait to read the one. The Scorpio Races was one of my favorite reads this year.

Michael G-G said...

small voice: i haven't read anything by Maggie Stiefvater.

Sounds as if I should. Thanks for the giveaway.

Kim Aippersbach said...

Yes please! Just finished The Scorpio Races and loved it, and this one sounds so different and intriguing!

aippersbach at shaw dot ca

Veronika said...

Maggie Stiefvater is brilliant! Thsi book is already on my tbr pile! Thank you for giving away a copy!
GFC: Veronika
verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

Tiffany Drew said...

I feel like the last person alive to read one of Maggie's books. I'm hoping to start with this one and work my way through the rest. I hear she is absolutely amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to win this!

I Tweeted: https://twitter.com/enterthedrew/status/259493442315501568

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

Evie said...

Great review! I can't wait to read this book!
by.evie at yahoo dot com dot br

SarahO said...

I've been really looking forward to this one! I have a friend who just started reading it and she likes it so far.

sarah (dot) oreilly97 (at) gmail (dot) com

Owl-ess said...

I want to enter, please. I have blogged about this!

Eli Yanti said...

love Maggie Stiefvater's book, hope can win

eli_y83@yahoo.com

Myrna Foster said...

I'm so excited to read this one. I loved The Scorpio Races.

Kiera Paul said...

Blog is typed, spell-checked and published! Thanks for the contest =)

The Clements Family said...

I love Maggie Stiefvater! I hope I win! My e-mail is meganclements4@yahoo.com.

Rebecca Gomez said...

Cool. I'm always up for a contest! (rjgomez08 at aol dot com)