The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.

As soon as I've read this first line of the book, I did two things: I rolled my eyes and picked up another book. Not a good first impression. It seemed like it was going to be another one of those YA Paranormal/Fantasy book.

And it could have been. There are elements that we find/have found in another YA books. Four handsome boys that go to a prestigious school; a poor, eccentric girl with powers "she only has it"; a kind of love triangle; a small, unknown town that has a dark aura and where coincidentally the high power rises.

But it is not, and all thanks to the author, who knew how to pull out an interesting, dark story with magic and ghosts and broken families. I even liked all names she chose: for the boys (Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah); for the psychic women (Maura, Persephone, Calla, Neeve) and on a lesser level, for the MC, Blue. Aren't there just normal names, but at the same time, magical? And since the book is magical, I could not help making comparisons with some things:

- Like the boys are similar to the boys of The Covenant. Except for Adam, they are disgustingly rich; eccentric and intelligent, with different personalities and a kind of love/hate relationship. Their bond is tight, but maybe because of that they also come to hate the other one a little bit. They own spectacular cars, are filthy rich and confident, but also, with that amount of money, they are kind of miserable.

- The psychic women are like the women from the movie "Practical Magic". They dress differently from the others; they communicate thru glances, they live all together, no men. They have their own secrets and very different personalities one from the other. And they are very powerful, but together, their power is stronger.

- Gansey-Blue-Adam = James-Lily-Snape: although their personalities are not the same, they resemble in a way. Gansey is the leader of the gang, smart, and very much fond of his friends (although Gansey is nicer and less cocky than James); Adam is poor, angsty and comes from a broken family; he is the first to notice Blue and gets jealous when he sees her with Gansey together. Blue is the girl in between, not "your-every-day-girl"; she likes Adam and hangs out with him, but since she knows she has to fall in love with Gansey eventually, she is aware of him. And since Gansey likes Blue -more than he liked a girl before-, there is a love-triangle-ish. Not too developed (thank God) so far. I kind of pity Adam; he is so angsty and the only good thing that happened to him lately may be Blue (why, I wonder) but we all know who Blue is going to chose at the end (including her).

- The tree is like the Mirror of Erised, only that it does not show one's true desire. Maybe it predicts or shows what one is afraid of the most. Most likely the prediction one.

As for Ronan (the tough boy with the tattoo, with his own little dark secret, who always gets into trouble); quiet Noah (who seems like his role won't be too important at the beginning, simply because he does not talk much and no one knows him very well); and Whelk (the crazy, young teacher who used to be a "Gansey" in his old days, until he lost every thing) I cannot link them to anyone yet.

I have high hopes for this author, so I will give this a chance and read the second book of the series. The plot, setting and names were good enough for me. The characters... let's wait and see.