20 Jun 2014

REVIEW: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)  
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult. Supernatural. Romance.

Publication Date: September 18th 2012
Publisher: Scholastic 

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 409

Rating: 5/5

“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 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.

Now, there was a stage in my life where I read every Maggie Stiefvater book as it came out but for some reason that sort of died off for a while. I bought The Raven Boys before that- in fact I bought this beautiful hardcover edition for about $12 (which is ridiculously cheap for Aus) and then onto the shelves it went. I’ve considered picking it up so many times, but I just never did- not until now.

I had absolutely no idea what this book was about at all. I knew from Tumblr that pretty much everyone loved Gansey and that was about it. Therefore, I knew nothing going into this book and I’ll admit that the first 20 or so pages took me a while to read. I was interested in what was going on, but I was so confused by it all that it took me a bit to get into it. I can actually pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with this book- and that was the mention of Wales. I’m not sure this is something I’ve ever mentioned on here before, but I have a deep love/obsession for Wales and anything remotely Welsh. So you can probably imagine my excitement for this book…

Maybe it’s my love for Wales, but I really, really loved the plot. It’s completely different to anything I’ve ever read before. I suppose that can be a sort of silly statement, but I really have never read or even heard of anything like this before. I think sometimes it could be a little confusing- there were parts about the ‘ley lines’ that I didn’t really get. That being said, I really loved the idea of them. I’m interested to see more about Glendower and the mystery surrounding Blue’s ability (I don’t know if that’s really the right word) in the sequels. 

Now we reach my favourite part of the review. The part in which I can talk about the characters in detail. Let’s start with Blue- I admit, the name kind of weirds me out and I’m a fan of unique character names as much as the next person but I don’t know, something about ‘Blue’ got to me. I love her as a character though- I think she’s a different type of character. She’s a bit weird, but I also think she’s quite strong and I feel a lot of sympathy towards her. I can imagine that growing up in a family like hers, without having the same powers the rest of her family does, would be incredibly difficult. I don’t know if any of you who’ve read the book will agree with me here, but I feel that Gansey sort of took over the story a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love Gansey but I would have liked to see a bit more of Blue.

Anyway, this brings me onto Gansey himself. Like I said, I love him. I wasn’t sure about him for a little while- he was kind of the stereotypical rich asshole, but then he changed. I liked being able to see the different sides to him- the side that Adam, Ronan and Noah got to see and the one Blue was starting to see and then the side that everyone else sees which is that ‘rich boy’. I think he’s a wonderful character, especially with how protective he is of his friends. That was one of my favourite things to read. I just really, really wanted to give him a big hug.

Adam. Can I just mention whenever I see a character named ‘Adam’ I instantly go into hate mode? My mind just instantly connects the name Adam with the Shatter Me series (like most other things) and I start seeing red (#WARNER5EVER). I try to keep a level head when it comes to Adams, and I really liked this Adam. He’s like that cute, sweet little boy that you just want wrap up in a blanket, place in front of a heater and give a teddy to cuddle or something. I feel the same about Noah (who instantly reminds me of Noah Shaw). The thing is, I kinda don’t know where I stand with either of them after the end of the book. I know that I really love Gansey, but I don’t know about the others. Does anyone feel the same?

I like most of the other characters. I actually really like Ronan- I don’t know whether anyone agrees with me, but I do. For me, he provides a lot of entertainment and just the right amount of tension. I also really like Maura, Persephone and Calla and I hope we get to see a lot more of them in the rest of the series too. 

Speaking of the rest of the series, now I’m going to have to attempt to hold myself back from ordering the second book especially since I’m determined to get it in hardcover so it matches the first one. I just can’t wait to see what happens to all the characters, plus I’m a serious need of some Gansey/Blue action.


  1. Ahhh I'm also holding myself back from buying the second one. BUT I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. The whole premise was so original. And I have no idea who my favorite character is. I really like Noah, Ganesy, and Adam, AND HAHA I love that Ronan has a baby raven named "Chainsaw". It seems kind of disgusting, but I find it cute in a way. I do really like Blue because she's spunky and awesome.

    What did you think about the ending by the way?

    1. How's that going for you? Chainsaw is amazing, like how did Maggie come up with that? Blue is seriously amazing, I just can't describe it.

      Ahh, the ending. I don't even know. I just have all these unresolved feels, and I really, really need the second book asap to sort them out.

      x Ely

  2. RONAN IS MY FAVOURITE!!! *ahem* Well, you know, I'm mostly logical about this book. But Ronan is so the best of ever. I love Gansey and Noah and Adam equally, although I was kind of knocked silly with Noah's plot twist. Poor little lamb. x0 I love Blue too! She's amazing and I love how she's painfully normal but not normal in everyway. I kind of am ticked off at Gansey for calling her Jane though. -_- Still! It's an absolutely 5-star for me too, and so awesome that you scored it for a good price!

    1. Logical? WHAT IS THAT? I was too, I totally did not see that coming! Blue is seriously amazing (see, I can't describe her any other way) The Jane thing is a little bit weird, admittedly.

      x Ely

  3. I've always been iffy about this one because everyone tells me that the beginning is really slow and confusing. I don't think I'd have the time to put up with that. But I'm really glad you liked it! It's making me second guess my choice on not reading this one! D: Lovely reeview though!