Stiefvater is really a fantastic writer. Her striking prose and a compelling plot alone make The Raven Boys a worthy read, but I was most intrigued by the bonds between the four Aglionby boys. They’re a brotherhood—constantly fighting for and against one another, always within the confines of respect, loyalty, trust, and solidarity. They rely and depend on one another almost completely (whether they like it or not), and they know their greatest strength (and conversely their greatest weakness) is each other. It’s the best depiction of male friendship I’ve read in a long time (dynamic, fortifying, honest—the type of platonic relationship frequently written for female best friends). And since it is cleverly hidden in a teen fantasy novel, it snuck up on me. I’m impressed, Stiefvater. Well done.
No. 2 on my challenge. Psychics and ghosts and ley lines, oh my!