Review: The Raven Boys

June 11, 2013 Review 19 ★★★★

Review: The Raven Boys
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 409
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Young Adult
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

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.


THE RAVEN BOYS is an extremely unique, different read. Much like THE SCORPIO RACES, Maggie Stiefvater has yet again wrote a novel that is so original you can’t help but like it.

Blue Sargent has grown up in a family of psychics, and is well acquainted with the extraordinary. When she is told that a kiss will kill her true love, she never thinks it would be an issue. But when she is warned this will be the year she will fall in love, it suddenly becomes very real, especially when she gets thrown into an alliance with some Aglionby boys on a mission. These boys, the raven boys, will farther influence her already bizarre life, all in different ways.

Strangely, the only problems I really had with this is that it was confusing at times. And really, this fact might be what makes it rise above other YA novels and makes some people rate it five stars. Some people love the mystery behind everything, having questions with no answers, and taking the strange plot in stride. I am not one of those people. Sure, I liked the mystery, but I also like logic and resolution, so this aspect turned me off-although many other people will find this a positive.

Stiefvater sure knows how to write characters. The variation and uniqueness of them all is astounding, they all have their own stories, secrets and flaws. Each had a distinct voice and I loved each and every one of them, I can’t wait to see more of these characters.

The other negative, was the romance. Or lack thereof. This is marketed almost as a romance book, after all, the tagline reads: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” Considering all of that, I was expecting romance. It was more implied, which I usually enjoy, if it had not been with a different guy than first promised.

In any case, I enjoyed this novel, and will be checking out this sequel-especially after that cliffhanger ending!

Rating Report
Overall: 3.8

19 Responses to “Review: The Raven Boys”

  1. Bec

    I am on of the strange people who like questions I think. I have no dea what’s going on but am happy to sit there for the eloquent ride and watch it all be unveiled. Like what had better happen soon with Ronan XD But yes, yes, fantastic characters. I wasn’t really expecting to much romance when I went into this, and I think I liked the surprise that it wasn’t actually involving Gansey really in this book, because then it could end too soon. And this means it shall develop nice and slowly over the series (hopefully), just how I like it :D And now I remember that Maggie Stiefvater likes bittersweet endings O_O

    • Alise

      I thought that’s why you had liked it so much! Yeah, I can’t stand TOO much mystery xD I didn’t think about that-about how if the Gansey thing has been included, it would have been over too soon. I love slow romance so I’m looking forward to that! True, although The Scorpio Races ended pretty happily.

      • Bec

        But The Scorpio Races only just became a happy ending in the last paragraph. Before then I was crying because it looked like it was going in an extremely bittersweet direction.

  2. Megan @ The Book Babe

    Haha, I have to agree with you. I actually think that the reason I liked this was the mystery behind it. I loved each of the individual characters, and like you I was a bit miffed that there wasn’t romance. You described what I felt better than I ever could, LOL! Awesome review! :D
    Megan @ The Book Babe recently posted…Burning by Elana K. Arnold

  3. Aman

    I didn’t finish Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series because I lost interest in it, but I remember loving the characters and connecting with them so deeply. I didn’t knew that the Raven Boys had romance in it, but that’s just me judging the book by the cover and not even bothering with the premises. It’s bad but I’m so glad you reviewed it or I would’ve missed this series. Even though romance wasn’t your fave element in it, I think it was overall a very good read. Definitely adding it to my tbr. Wonderful review!
    Aman recently posted…Review: Forever Too Far by Abbi Glines

    • Alise

      I still haven’t read Shiver, but I hear that a lot. The Raven Boys has a promise of romance, but little follow through. Glad you added it, though! Thanks!

  4. Renae @ Respiring Thoughts

    Interesting that this isn’t so much a romance book. I assumed that this would be about the protagonist attempting to save her true love’s life, but apparently not? Nothing wrong with that, but I will adjust my expectations! After The Scorpio Races, I’ve been anticipating reading more from this author—she does such a great job with unique storytelling.
    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts recently posted…Viewer’s Choice Reviews: Novels by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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