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"THE RAVEN BOYS," by Maggie Stiefvater, Scholastic Press, $17.99, 408 pages (f)

Blue Sargent, the unassuming heroine of Maggie Stiefvater’s new book “The Raven Boys,” can never kiss a boy because her kiss will kill him.

Blue is a 16-year-old girl who lives in a house brimming with female psychics. From the time she was small she has been warned that her kiss will one day kill her true love.

Lacking any telepathic ability, Blue has always felt distanced from her family even though she adores them.

However, as she routinely accompanies her aunt to a procession of the soon-to-be dead, Blue sees something supernatural for the first time. A boy named Gansey wearing a sweater from Aglionby Academy — the prestigious, local private school — materializes out of the darkness and speaks to her.

Drawn to know more about this strange boy before he dies, Blue joins his group of mismatched friends as they search bizarre clues for a paranormal reward. With their curious entourage in tow, Blue and Gansey accidentally stumble into something much more sinister than they ever imagined.

Suddenly faced with evils they never expected, they also realize there is much more to lose than just a prestigious prize.

Stiefvater is the New York Times best-selling author of the Shiver Trilogy. “The Raven Boys” is the first book in her newest series, The Raven Cycle. The initial plot seems geared toward romance, but it quickly blossoms into something much more complex. This story has depth and emotion and carries its own weight.

Blue and her satchel full of Aglionby Academy boys are a perfect fit. Each character adds an essential layer to the group dynamic, and although each champion is extremely unique, the band of misfits would be lopsided without any one. Their kinship is odd but seamless. Blue’s quirky family also shines in their offbeat way, but some of the other characters lack development and shading.

The distinctive line of this tale is unexpected and intriguing. The plot twists and turns, while lightly foreshadowed, creep into the story in such a way that they are still startling.

While the book will likely appeal to young adult readers, it is lightly sprinkled with a handful of foul words, some of them very intense. Some of the main characters repeatedly skip school with no remorse and participate in underage drinking.

If you go ...

What: Maggie Stiefvater book signing

When: Monday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, University Crossings Plaza, 330 E. 1300 South, Orem

Web: barnesandnoble.com

Also ...

When: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is mddemoux@gmail.com and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.