Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Format: Hardcover
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: Library
Series: Raven Cycle #1
Interest: author, plot

“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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver 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.


Going into the book, my expectations were quite low – I’d absolutely loved The Scorpio Races and didn’t think this could be anywhere as good. I was so, so wrong. The Raven Boys blew my expectations through the roof. This book is amazing. After  finishing it I felt numb and happy and felt a desperate need to get my hands on the second book.

The Raven Boys starts off quite slow and you don’t feel an immediate connection to either the plot or the characters but the writing is so great that you persist. Gradually, and without your notice, the characters begin to grow on you and you start rooting for them. All of a sudden you pull back from the book and realize that you understand these characters perfectly; that their personalities go on beyond the book.  The characters aren’t characters, but people, and you feel as if you are simply watching their lives go by.

This was how I felt while reading The Raven Boys. It is an amazing and thrilling feeling to read a book that is written so well that it no longer feels like a story.  Raven Boys is written in third person, following three characters so you are not a participant but are watching from the sidelines and it just really worked. Even the magic in the book does not feel unrealistic but more real then in any other book I’ve read.

Another thing I love about this book are the characters. They are, like I mentioned above, real people. They have their own flaws and weaknesses and secrets that are kept hidden. Blue is a very unique character. Everything about her life is mysterious and weird. She is a very sensible person but tends to judge others based on first impressions. She is also kind and thoughtful and very eccentric. I think I’d love to have her as a friend.

Gansey at first appears to be rich and conceited, caring only about his quest for Glendower, but it is revealed that he is a very generous and self-less person who hides behind a facade of control and power. I loved everything about him. He is just such an amazing person. He is the leader of the group but doesn’t ever wield his power negatively and only ever tries to help others while being organized and measured.

The other characters as well existed on multiple levels that slowly unfolded as the story progressed. It was amazing to watch their friendships grow and the characters slowly becoming closer to one another. The quest for Glendower was exhilarating and ran through all aspects of the book; tying things together. The magic was unique and as dark as it was wondrous. This book gave me shivers and contains many freaky plot twists though I do not scare easily.

You’re probably wondering why I only gave this book 4.5 if I loved it so much. Well, the answer is that I’m just very stingy with ratings and only my absolute favourite books earn the rank of 5. So in other words, this book was a fraction away from perfection. I highly recommend this book to everyone as I feel that it contained elements everyone can love and relate to.


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