The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

17675462Published: September 18th 2012

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Series: The Raven Cycle #1

Genres: YA, Supernatural, Paranormal

Format: Kindle Source: Purchased

My Rating: 3.5 Stars direKRo4T

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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.



After months of pick up-put down, I was finally able to get to a point where the story got interesting for me. As beautiful as the writing is in this book, it was really boring in the beginning. I couldn’t read more than a chapter before wanting to pick up another book. I considered not finishing it, but everyone kept telling me that it gets better. It did. However, I’m going to try listening to the next two books since I have the a hardcover of the last one already. Maybe that will make a big difference. 

Where to start? Although I love stories with preternatural aspects, this one took time to navigate. Whether that is because I kept putting it down and picking it back up weeks later may have everything to do with it. I like Blue and what she’s able to do. And yes, it was majorly creepy from the start, but the writing put me off.  While not exactly flowery, but very poetic, I found myself sighing a lot. I just don’t like to read ornate writing when it comes to anything SF/F/PNR. This is the same problem I had with Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. And while The Raven Boys isn’t as elaborate as that book, I still had a hard time getting into it.

It took too long to get to the heart of the story. What may have kept me reading is the romance. I wanted to know just what would happen between Blue and Gansey. It should have been simple: If girl kisses boy, he dies. Right? Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story if Stiefvater hadn’t made it complicated. So I stuck it out and actually enjoyed the last quarter of the book. 

The characters make the story worth it. Blue and Gansey aren’t the only interesting ones running around. Ronan: the crazy brother whom I may actually like. I like that he has a story to tell. There’s no way a teen boy with that much angst doesn’t have a story. He threw tantrums like a 3 yr old, but there is something I’m not getting from this book, so I have to read the next one. Adam and Noah are just as complicated. I felt so bad for Adam as I got to know his character more. At least Ronan’s rage is good for something. There’s a lot more at stake than I thought, so I am really ready for the next book. What else is it besides searching for a long dead welsh king? These Raven Boys are mysterious and I want to know more. 

Overall, I am more than willing to read/listen to the next book. I already have the audio book on hold, so hopefully I’ll start it soon. While I’m not impressed by this book, it does make you want to know more by the end. If you enjoy supernatural/paranormal stories, written poetically in third person, then this one is for you.

32 thoughts on “The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. Great review! This is one of my all time favorites so I’m bummed that you didn’t like it. I will say that it really just gets better and better in the context of the series and upon re-read.


  2. I actually recently read this one because everyone seems to always be loving it… so I wanted to know what you’d thing. I’ve read one other Stiefvater book but I found it incredibly boring. It seems like this beginning was quite like that, but then things did manage to pick up a bit… which is a good sign? I don’t know about this one.


  3. This was complicated and did take some patience to get into. I do think the audio books are much better than just reading the story. Will Patton has great comedic timing and can really convey the sarcastic edge MS writes into the story. Hope you like the next one better. I think the third one is the best so far. I have the last book but have been too nervous to pick it up. She better not do anything bad to Gansey! Wonderful review, Lekeisha! 🙂


  4. Sorry you had a hard time getting into this one. When I first started this one it was on audio and I HATED the narrator’s voice. I had a much easier time reading it than listening to it. I hope you like the next book even more! 😀


  5. I have this series on my TBR forever now and I’m planning on a binge-session very soon. I’m glad it got better after that boring start for you. The romance is one of the main reasons why I’m picking this series up. And of course the friendships too.
    Lovely review, Lekeisha. Hopefully, the next book is better?


  6. Yeah, I remember having the same issues with the first book as well. But I persevered and ended up loving the next two books. The last book, however, was a different story. I hope you’ll enjoy the rest!


  7. So, I DEF think i’ve been hidden under a rock because, WHY HAVE I NOT TRIED THIS YET?? You’ve convinced me to try it out girl! I have to know what this is all about and the fact that it has beautiful writing is DEF reason to give it a try! ❤


  8. Ah, this is a series I need to continue. I’ve only read this one so far but pretty much everyone I’ve talked to says the books get better and better, so I don’t know what I’m waiting for! So hopefully things will improve for you too even though this was only so-so.


  9. Her writing style is lovely, but agreed, it’s tough to get into. I ran into that issue with her Mercy Falls series. Hopefully book two will work better now the set up stuff is out of the way.


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