Review: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys
The Raven Cycle #1

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic Press
Release date: September 18th, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 409
Format: select
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads

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.



I have to be honest. I started The Raven Boys twice, and stalled both times, before I decided to just push on and find out if/when it would get good… Those first two stalls were serious mistakes. I wish I had given this beautiful book a chance sooner.

If I’d known going into it what I know now, or if I’d left my expectations behind on page 1, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have found the first part quite so slow. I expected something completely different–something closer to Maggie’s Shiver, or at least something with much more of a YA PNR feel. A book about a girl whose kiss will kill her true love? That sounds to me like there are going to be pretty regular will they/won’t they kiss?! scenarios. But that is not what we get with The Raven Boys. As it turns out, those scenarios are few and far between (understatement). And that, in my opinion, is a very good thing.

What we get, once things start to unfold after the first 100 pages, is a captivating, character-driven story. The plot starts to thicken, the characters really come into their own, and this book becomes something that is fairly impossible to put down.

So let’s talk about those Raven Boys:

Gansey. I didn’t start out liking Gansey very much, I’ll be honest. But as the story progressed, and we learned more about why he acts the way he does, and what drives him to go on this quest with the other boys, he grew on me a lot. Now that I know more about his character and how the story unfolds, I’ll be excited to re-read the previously “slow” beginning, before Book 2 comes out. I think it will be better going into it with more knowledge.

Adam. I know Gansey is supposed to be the main guy in this book (or is he?), but for me, Adam stole the show. Everything he goes through is just… gut-wrenching. Initially I thought he was being a little weird about not accepting help from anyone, even his friends, but once you learn more about him, and why he feels so strongly the way he does, just… I have no words. I JUST LOVE HIM OKAY.

Noah. I don’t really know what to say about Noah (and I don’t want to give anything away), except that even from the little we see of him throughout the book, I knew there was something about him that I was going to love. I was right, and then some.

Then there was Ronan. I so wish we could’ve seen into his head a little bit more because there is so much I want to know about him. He kind of intrigued me from the get-go, not because he was easy to like (he isn’t), but because he had that prickliness that only comes from some serious back-story. There is not enough of this in Raven Boys, and I need more. The end of the book makes me think that we’ll definitely get more in Book 2, so I’m looking forward to that for sure. Especially the resolution to that cliffhanger. It came out of NOWHERE!

Really, the Raven Boys made the book (it is named for them, after all). Their unlikely, unbreakable friendship was the crux of this story, and these 5 stars are all thanks to them. (Oh yeah and Maggie too.)

She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.

4 thoughts on “Review: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. I actually loved this books so much! I agree with you when you say you wish you’d given this ‘beautiful book a chance sooner’. I was so looking forward to ‘real’ romance, but I was actually quite pleased with the fact that there wasn’t a kiss in this book or anything. Makes me want to read the next book sooner – and I am so jealous of all those people who have The Dream Thieve’s ARCs.
    Basma @ My Bookish Thoughts

  2. Great review! This is one of those series that I have been wanting to read for awhile. I may just have to bump it up the list! :)

  3. Pingback: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

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