Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 416 pages
Rating: 3 Cows

Goodreads Description: “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.

            Paranormal YA books are just my thing! Also my thing: Maggie Steifvater’s writing.  One of my all time favorite series is The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater.  That being said, I was slightly disappointed with this book!  Maybe it was all the hype surrounding it, what with the release of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book in The Raven Cycle, back in October, but I was just expecting so much more out of this book! 
            First, I have to start by saying I have talked to a few fans of this series, and I have heard the first book is slightly slow.  Most fans of the series got hooked during the second book.  Thankfully, I started to get more into the book about 3/4 of the way through reading it, so I am really excited for the next one.  The biggest issue I had with The Raven Boys initially, was the beginning of the book.  It was really hard for me to get into, and I thought it had a slow start.  I think part of the problem was because there were so many main characters in this book (Blue, The 4 Raven Boys) that I had a hard time keeping track of everyone.  That’s seems to be my problem when reading any series though, and I always seem to get on better with the series come the second book, once I’m acquainted with all the characters by that point.  Fingers crossed that’s the case for this one!
            Another minor issue I had with this book was Blue’s mom. I’m not usually so nitpicky about characters, but I could not stand her!  I understand she was supposed to be a laid back type of mom, but for being raised with no rules all her life, Blue seems to have this odd attachment to obeying her mom and not doing anything she might be displeased with.  I just thought the whole thing was unrealistic and annoying, and even though her mom claimed to have her daughter’s best interests at heart, I have a hard time reading scenes that involved any sort of interaction between the two of them.
            It’s always good to start off with the negative sometimes, and then move on to the positives.  Now that I’m done with my complaints on The Raven Boys, here’s what I liked! First off, my favorite character other than Blue was most certainly Adam.  I just felt so sorry for the kid!  Not only does he have a super rough home life, but I totally felt for him on the whole ‘wanting to be independent’ thing.  Even though he knows if he goes home his dad will hit him and yell at him, Adam turns down Gansey’s offer for him to move into their place time and time again.  He always tells Gansey when he moves out from his family, he wants to have done it on his own.  I really respected Adam for this, and the fact that he had such a hardworking mentality.  One of the hardest parts of the book for me to read was an incident that occurs towards the end of the book (no spoilers) that involves Adam and his family.  I was shaking just reading it I was so mad!
            Another one of the great parts about the book was the writing style in general.  I’ve always loved Stiefvater’s writing style, so this book was no exception to that.  I also LOVED the banter that always went back and forth between Blue and Gansey, especially during the diner scene when Blue is working, and she meets the whole group of Raven boys for the first time.  Try as he might, Gansey has a way with words that always seems to irritate the crap out of everyone! Poor guy is too smart for his own good sometimes! 
            Honestly, it all boils down to this: while I didn’t like the beginning of the book, I did fly through the last 1/4 of it and I am really excited to read the next book in the series, The Dream Thieves. Had the book not gotten better towards the end, I might not be so excited for the rest of the series, but since it did, I am still willing to give this one a go! What are your thoughts?  Any Stiefvater fans out there who felt the same way reading The Raven Boys?  I’d love to hear your feedback!


  1. I haven't gotten the chance to read the series yet, and it's been in my tbr for quite a while lol. I really liked your review and reading it gives me the motivation to pick it up asap! I also agree with you when you said that most series are always slow in the beginning because so many characters are being thrown at us all at once lol but yes it does get better when it comes to the second book :)

  2. I hope you do! i think the first one is just slow, but i'm hoping the series picks up for me! Thanks for reading my review Linda!!


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