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Okay, so I was supposed to close out the month with our usual monthly roundup, but I’m going to pretend it’s February a little longer because I just finished a book that HAS to go up on our Fiction Friday.

People have been telling me for months, “read ‘The Raven Boys.’ It’s good!” And I believed them, but I wasn’t in any great rush – like most of you my stack of to-be-read books is about ten feet high. Still, I was browsing audio books a little while back and thought, hmm, why not? So I got the audio version of Maggie Stiefvater’sThe Raven Boys” narrated by Will Patton, and IT’S…SO…GOOD! So good I had to go all in caps, and that’s really saying something.

It’s hard to describe exactly what it’s about; the main character, Blue, lives with her mother and her mother’s friends, as well as some other family members. Everyone in her family is psychic, except her, so she’s used to being on the edge of the weird. And ever since she was a little girl she’s heard the same prophecy about herself: if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. Well, Blue’s too sensible to worry about falling in love.

Cue the Raven Boys: Gansey, Adam, and Ronan. Gansey is the unofficial leader of this pack of boys from the local very prestigious boarding school, and he is a man on a mission: to find a long lost Welsh king who he believes is still alive, only sleeping. The one who wakes this king will be granted a favor, and Gansey, who has everything he could possibly want, wealth, good looks, a bright and shining future, will risk it all to find this king. Why? Well, I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.

I’m not really doing the story justice because it’s about so much more than that, and one of the things I loved was the feeling of complexity within the story, the idea that each of these characters existed off the page, that there was something bigger going on, something I could only begin to grasp as I read this book. It’s the first book in a series of four, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Very well-written and imaginative, and definitely different from any other YA book I’ve read recently, I give this one a hearty two thumbs up. And if you can, I’d recommend the audio version – Will Patton does a great job with the different voices, and his southern accent is very soothing to listen to.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our monthly roundup, and meanwhile, what’s the best book you’ve listened to lately? Do you have a favorite narrator? Inquiring minds want to know…and I’m always looking for another great listen.

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