Review – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted 16 July, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Book Review, Kristen / 35 Comments

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)

Hardcover, 408 pages
Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press
ISBN 0545424925 (ISBN13: 9780545424929)
Synopsis by Goodreads
Bewitched Bookworms

“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.

I’ve been a huge Maggie Stiefvater fan ever since reading Shiver.  I’m not sure what it was exactly that hooked me into that series, but I just loved it.  I get a kick out of her snarky writing (ok, it’s her characters snarkiness, not the writing) and how easy it is to fall in love with her worlds.  Her fairy stories are great too! Then came The Scorpio Races… Oh man… Yes, the writing was pretty, but for whatever reason I could not get into the story or the characters. I’d like to chalk it up to me not being a horse person…but I don’t know.
When I was at BEA I saw an opportunity to get The Raven Boys and also to finally meet Maggie at a signing! I had read a bit about the premise of the book and it sounded good. Ohhhhh…yes….now this is the Maggie that I know and love.
First off, meet Blue. She is this funky child of a psychic and lives in a house of a bunch of psychic ladies. Not only is this interesting and quirky, but then there is the whole, “If you kiss your true love you will kill him” thing. So she makes it a point to stay away from boys, just in case.  I loved the interactions with her mom and her ‘aunts’.  Each of the supporting characters seem to have a story to tell. And since this is the start of a series, I’m looking foward to learning about each of the ‘aunt’s’ gifts.
Then we have The Raven Boys.  Blue meets them and fall head over heels into their story and adventures.  They meet completely by chance, yet the boys talk a lot about coincidences and how those are impossible – that fate always has a reason for both big and little events.  I also loved learning bits about each of these guys and figuring out which was was going to win Blue’s heart. Each of the guys have some interesting backstories and it made me think of the Goonies and Dead Poet’s Society all mixed together. (Am I dating myself or what!? If any of our readers haven’t seen these movies, they need to get them on their Netflix, STAT!)
Overall what I loved the most was the story. It is intriguing on so many levels. The human/love story is exciting and I could feel Blue’s goosebumps and heart accelerations when all the mushy stuff was happening. On top of that there was the supernatural element. Time travel and visions, ghosts and memories, all sorts of things that made me freak out a bit at 1am when the house was dark.  Not horror scary at all, it just seemed to feed on the “what bumps in the night” feeling when the house is quiet and it’s just me with my book and booklight. Then all through the book is the mystery of what exactly is going on?  How are these things happening and why, and who is going to make the big changes?  I cannot wait to read the next book in the series! I’m hooked!!!!
Bewitched BookwormsBewitched BookwormsBewitched BookwormsBewitched Bookworms


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35 Responses to “Review – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. I am SO GLAD you loved this book! Especially because of this:

    “Then came The Scorpio Races… Oh man… Yes, the writing was pretty, but for whatever reason I could not get into the story or the characters. I’d like to chalk it up to me not being a horse person…but I don’t know.”

    I was in the exact same boat. I really liked Shiver but didn’t like The Scorpio Races. So now I have a copy of The Raven Boys and I’m worried that it could go either way — another hit or another miss. So I’m totally encouraged by the fact that you loved The Raven Boys! Now I can’t wait to read it! ^_^

    Great review – thanks!
    Ashley recently posted..Insignia by S.J. KincaidMy Profile

  2. Five out of five?? Yaaaay! *happy dances* I’m probably one of the biggest Maggie fans ever because her writing is so beautiful and her stories are so unique, and you wouldn’t believe how happy I am to hear that this is just as good as her other stories! I LOVE that her name is Blue and she kills her love if she kisses him — now that would be awful, but it makes for a great story LOL x)

    Awesome review, Kristen! I’ll be off to Netflix soon too :’) <3
    Mimi Valentine recently posted..Review: A Monster CallsMy Profile

    • Her style of writing is one of the best. Pretty, but not distractingly so. She can also keep things clicking along as well as add humor and snark. Just my cup of tea! Definitely go Netflix some Dead Poets Society. Brilliant movie – tho make sure the kleenex is handy!

  3. The Raven Boys sounds super good! I actually have it but haven’t picked it up yet… but I will definitely be doing that soon after reading this review 🙂 It sounds really good! I just bought The Scorpio Races and I’m not much of a horse person either so we’ll see how it goes! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Kayla @ Bengal Reads
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  4. Greta

    Sha-weet!! I’m super happy that as a Maggie fan I was not the only one that didn’t dig “Scorpio Races”. I was like “Where’s the lochness monsters?!!!!”

    But!! I am ecstatic that you dug “The Raven Boys”! Finally!! Another most awesome book!! I can’t wait!! And how super jealous am I? You know how jealous I am.. LOADS!!! LOLZ!

    And now… to wait until September 😉

  5. I wasn’t a huge Shiver fan…I know I’m one of the few people who can say that. I haven’t finished the series yet, so we’ll see. I was fortunate to see her speak at a panel and I really liked the way she spoke to her fans and how disarming she was.

    I was never interested in The Scorpio Races, mostly because I’ve never been a big fan of horses be they mystical or otherwise.

    This series however, has piqued my interest. I really hope I like it, because I love her blog and the discussion she adds to the young adult blogging community. I just can’t get into Shiver. Maybe if I read Linger, I’ll change my mind.
    Liza recently posted..What if You Hated Your Cover?My Profile

    • It’s ok! I know that Shiver isn’t on everyone’s list! If you don’t like Shiver, probably don’t want to read the rest…..there is so much other stuff out there!

      This is a series too, I would just wait for 9/18 and try this! You can go back and read the Mercy Falls books if you enjoyed it!

  6. I love Shiver and Maggie’s writing. It is just amazing especially how she engages all your senses. I haven’t picked up Scorpio Races yet since the reviews hvae been all over the board. I am so excited to delve into this! I love that it is reminiscent of
    Goonies and Dead Poets two spextacular movies and all the other elements ghosts etc. How cool! I am thrilled that I will be starting this book this weekend.
    Heidi recently posted..Tell Me Something Tuesday #28My Profile

    • I really liked Blue – not sure if it was the quirkiness mixed with a ‘real’ sort of grounded attitude or what. She’s so matter of fact about things, and then completely buys into and believes all the crazy supernatural things. It was such an interested mix. And then the boys are great too. Hope you can get your hands on a copy!

  7. KM

    OMG!!! I’m so glad this book is awesome! It’s sitting in my kindle right now and I can’t wait to read it!!! 🙂

  8. Oh wow wow wow wow WOW. This sounds AMAZING. I’ve been excited about this one awhile, but… EEK! IT SOUNDS EFFING AMAZING. I was wondering about the tone of this one… whether it was going to be dark and dreamy (kind Neil Gaimanish), or mysterious and quirky, and !!!!! Oh goodness, you have me SO excited!

  9. Well I am not a huge fan of her Mercy Falls series so I’m really not sure how I’m going to feel about this one. I do like to give an author two chances though to impress me before I don’t read their stuff anymore so The Raven Boys is Maggie’s second chance and I hope that she really impresses me with this story because it sounds awesome.

    Thanks for the awesome review, so glad you enjoyed this one.
    Alexa recently posted..Tune In Tuesday [20]My Profile

  10. I just got a copy of this in yesterday and I am so psyched to read it! I have maggies Shiver series but haven’t read any of them. Boo!!! I’ve heard she’s an amazing author though and your review has me even more excited to read this one!

  11. While I loved Ballad and Lament, I’m still waiting for that series to be finished. I feel like she doesn’t finish her series, so I’m hesitant to start another series of hers. I’m also not a big fan of some of things she’s said about reviewers/bloggers. I might wait to see if she writes an actual ending to this series. Yes, I know, several years from now, but thanks to Danny, my TBR list is quite long!
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