Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted July 20, 2015 by @Angelized_1st in 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 6 Comments

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: ,
Published by Scholastic Inc. on September 18th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Adolescence
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780545469791
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

The Good…:

The Raven Boys has been on my TBR list practically since it came out. I kept putting off reading it, because I was trying to finish reading the book series I’d already begun. This notion was stupid, I guess, since nowadays all YA books seem to be part of a series. I finally broke down and read it after the book won Bookish Lifestyle’s July Read-a-long poll. Once again author Maggie Stiefvater has pulled readers into a mystical world with her Raven Cycle Series. Blue is a young girl growing up in a house filled with psychics, but lacks any psychic ability of her own. Instead, Blue enhances the powers of those around her. Having a psychic for a mother hasn’t exactly left Blue living in the lap of luxury, but she’s pretty happy living in her small southern town. The thorn in her side? Snotty, rich boys from Aglionby, the local prep school. Blue never thought she’d ever have anything to do with one of those boys, until four walked into her life. Each carrying dark secrets that will change Blue’s life forever.

I really loved all of the characters in this book. From the weird and wacky family of psychics, to the Gansey and his crew looking for the ultimate prize. They were all interesting, and I couldn’t wait to see what they’d do next. The story was part mystery, part suspense, part fantasy, and not what I expected from reading the synopsis. This kept me on my toes, and the story didn’t seem overly predictable.

The Bad…:

I feel like the synopsis gives the wrong impression about the book. When you read it you’d think that it was a paranormal romance, but it’s not. At least not yet. True, Blue is told that she’s destined to kill the love of her life. True, she never should have seen Gansey in the cemetery, and the reason why she does seems in keeping with Blue’s curse. However, the book isn’t about Blue and Gansey. It’s about so much more than the book blurb suggests, so when I began reading the book I was very confused about what I was reading. I think this may be why it took me at least 100-150 pages to really get into the book. On the bright side, this allowed the story to surprise me more than it otherwise might have.

Do I Recommend?

I don’t know honestly. I did like the book enough to read the second book in the series. I’m just not exactly chomping at the bit to do so. I’ll get to it eventually. I’ve read many of Stiefvater’s other books, so I’m familiar with her writing style, but none of the other books were as difficult for me to get into. If you are looking for a paranormal romance as the synopsis indicates, then I think this book will disappoint you. However, if you’re looking for a fantastical tale of Welsh mythology, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural, than The Raven Boys will be right up your alley.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.5

About Maggie Stiefvater

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.


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6 responses to “Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. Christy

    Yeah, I’ve had this for awhile now, but haven’t got around to it. I know I will someday, though. So it’s good to see you liked it despite the issues. I definitely know how you feel about wanting to read the next book in a series, but not really excited to do so.

    • @Angelized_1st

      Most of the series I’ve been reading lately have me chomping at the bit to continue, but this one, while good, wasn’t like that for me. However, I’m not as blasé about continuing like I was with Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles. The Red Pyramid left me not caring if I ever finished the series.

  2. Totally agree! I enjoyed the characters a lot, and I DO want to read Dream Thieves but… yeah, I am not like, running to the store right now either. I didn’t even read the synopsis, so I didn’t know what to expect (which was probably good in retrospect), so I was fine with that aspect- though I did NOT like Adam, he can go away now. And I agree that the pacing was slow for the first 100-150 pages. After that it did pick up. Glad I am not alone in liking, but not like, freaking out over it 🙂 Great review!

    • @Angelized_1st

      Thanks! You didn’t like Adam? I did. Except after the big drama at his home went down and he did you know what. I started questioning his motivations towards Gansey. Why didn’t you like him?

  3. Nice review! I haven’t read this yet but I did read her other series, The Wolves of Mercy Falls, and I was really disappointed in how she ended the series. So I’m not sure if I want to read more from this author.

    • @Angelized_1st

      I understand how you feel. I also wasn’t very happy with how that series ended. I wasn’t upset enough to stop reading her books, but I was grossly disappointed. That’s a feeling I’ve come to expect from all of her novels. The Scorpio Races did leave me feeling too thrilled, either. I consider Stiefvater to be the John Green of Paranormal YA. I feel compelled to read her books, but then am left feeling mad I did.

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