Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys
(The Raven Cycle)
Maggie Stiefvater
Release: September 18, 2012
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“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.

Review by Rose Red:

You know those times when a book has just released and it looks amazing so you buy it and take it home with you only for it to sit waiting to be read on the shelf for years? That's the story of my copy of The Raven Boys. I found it in my local Barnes and Noble soon after it came out and I was intrigued by the synopsis so I bought it. I never got around to reading it like I had planned and in the subsequent years I've picked up books two and three in the series. In order to justify my preorder of the last book, I decided that 2016 was going to be the year that I finally would read this series and find out what the hype is all about. HOLY HELL! This book was amazing! Oh my goodness! The hype is so deserved! The only word I can think to describe the whole reading experience is magical. It was just plain magical!

Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic. Actually, her entire family are psychics. She is the only one who isn't. But that doesn't mean that she is in anyway ordinary. Blue has the peculiar gift of acting as an amplifier that strengthens her family's psychic abilities. Living with psychics isn't all it's cracked up to be. For all her life, Blue has been told that if she kisses her true love he will die so she swears off boys and kissing all together. Then she meets a group of Raven Boys (boys who attend the local prestigious all boys prep school) and learns about their search for a lost Welsh king. I'm not going to say anything more about the plot because I feel like this is the type of book where the less you know going in the more you'll enjoy it.

The Raven Boys was my first book I've ever read of Maggie Stiefvater's and I didn't know what to expect. I was a little nervous going in because almost everyone I talked to about it told me that the first 100ish pages were a slog to get through. But it wasn't that way at all for me. I was hooked from the first sentence and what a great opening sentence it is!

"Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love."

I seriously loved everything about this book! The setup, the characters, the cars, the setting, the paranormal aspects, the mythology... I loved it all! WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS BOOK? It was everything! I feel like I need to go hug Past Rose Red and give her a kick in the butt at the same time for buying this book and then letting it to sit unread on the shelf for 3.5 years.

One of the best parts of this book besides Blue and her Raven Boys was how subtle and detailed the story telling was. The prose is gorgeous and full of beautiful descriptions and metaphors. So much happened in this book. I'm not even sure I get it all at this point. Actually, I'm not sure if I'd get it all after several rereads. It's one of those books that you'll learn something new about the story every time you reread it. There were a lot of twists and I didn't see many of them coming. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading trying to guess what would happen next and it was never something I expected. I was so caught up in reading that I finished it in one sitting. As soon as I did, I wanted to immediately jump into the next book because of that last sentence! OMG!

This book (and series) has definitely earned a spot high up on my list of favorite books of all time and I'm certain that it will stay there. It was full of mystery, complex characters that are growing into themselves, and the beginnings of a romance. I can see myself rereading this series often in the years to come. I loved it so much! If you haven't read this book, you need to. It was practically perfect.

Recommended for fans of: Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Sequence.

  5 / 5 Stars!


  1. Oh man, reading your review brought me back to exactly how I felt when I read this one^^ I never found it slow either - I was hooked right from the word go! I ADORED Blue and her Raven Boys, I adored their friendship and the gorgeous prose ♥ Awesome review!! I can NOT wait to see how you'll love the rest of the series :D

    1. It was SO good! I was surprised at how much I loved it!

  2. YAY! Glad you finally read this -- it truly is one of the best series, EVER! So complex, so unique, so beautiful and still fun to read!


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