The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review


The Raven Boys

By: Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: 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. – Goodreads, The Raven Boys.

Once I started reading The Raven Boys I couldn’t stop. I gobbled it down like I was starving for this book and I’d never even known.

I loved everything about this novel. The characters, the plot, the twists and turns, the lack of immediate infatuation. It was what I needed in a YA novel after reading so many insta-love stories over the last few months.

I’ve never read anything by Maggie Stiefvater, but I’d heard so many good things about The Raven Boys series that I figured it was time for me to read it.

It was everything I needed.

I feel like I’ve said this so many times in the last two weeks but I’m usually not into more than one, maybe two points of view. I think multiple POV can be tricky for authors and if they haven’t sufficiently fleshed out their characters it shows. Stiefvater uses four POV in The Raven Boys and they all just add to the story. The characters don’t lack, they all have their own issues and back stories and histories. It creates these fleshed out characters that feel like people.

So, I sat down Friday evening and read about 100 pages. I was intrigued, but wasn’t quite as obsessively engrossed in it that I would later become.

On Saturday, I lie on my couch in my nineteenth century creaky apartment located in the Valley of Virginia (an area that, if Henrietta, Va., was real, would be very close to where I currently live) reading into the early hours of Sunday morning. I was so engrossed with The Raven Boys that I actually got paranoid that I was living on a ley line and that the creaks I was hearing were actually some ghost haunting me.

There wasn’t a character in this book that I didn’t love. That’s not something I’m ever able to say. There is usually at least one character I find weak, or deficient, but not this book. I was interested in Blue and Gansey and Adam and Ronan and Noah. But even more, I felt myself wishing I grew up with Calla and Maura and Persephone.

I know the synopsis makes this sound like some weird sappy love story. Like some girl meeting the guy she’s supposed to fall in love with. But it’s not that. It’s so beyond just some teenage love story. It’s an adventure with a bunch of character’s you’ll wish were real because you could easily be best friends with them.

If you haven’t read The Raven Boys and you’re ok with it shattering your life and forcing you to binge the other three books in the series (I’m currently trying to hold off from reading through them too fast), then read it. I cannot recommend The Raven Boys enough.

If you have read it, please comment. I would love to talk to other people about it.

– E


13 thoughts on “The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

  1. I love this book too! (My first Stiefvater book so far) My only complaint was the ending–it seemed slightly rushed and the Adam part was a bit weird (?). But otherwise she left me wanting to read the next one– I ❤ Ronan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, I agree with you on the ending but it makes sense once you read the second one (which I literally just finished before posting this comment). I think she wanted the ending to be a bit vague so she could throw you completely into the thick of it in Dream Thieves. I love Ronan but for some reason I am absolutely obsessed with Calla, Maura and Persephone.


  3. I love The Raven Boys too – it’s such an immersive and engrossing read and you find yourself really caring about every single one of the characters, no matter how seemingly small of a role they might play. 🙂 This line in particular from your review made me smile: ‘I gobbled it down like I was starving for this book and I’d never even known’. That perfectly describes what reading this series is like – it’s the book you didn’t know you needed.

    I’ve found that people give me a funny look when/if I try to explain the plot of this book, which is probably partly because the synopsis does not do it justice at all. In my opinion it’s really badly targeted because it’s quite misleading, the story is very rarely about Blue’s little true love kiss problem, it’s more so about this group of weird and wonderful characters (who form some of the most interesting friendships I’ve read in YA fiction) and their enigmatic quest to find ley lines.

    Sounds pretty weird when you boil it down to that but that’s also what I think is great about this book – you just have to read it to understand the charm of it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I was explaining it to someone a few days ago and they were like, “that doesn’t sound like something I would like.” I was really frustrated because I was like no trust me it’s not as weird as it sounds. I also avoided telling them about Blues prophecy because that was something that turned me off to reading it for a long time. I really worried I was going to read some book about a girl falling in love and it’s really not like that at all. It’s so well written that you don’t really think about it until certain moments come up. And the cast of characters was everything I needed in a YA novel. I think sometimes, because much of their audiences are younger so they are less likely to notice, authors don’t develop characters fully. Stiefvater just threw away the book and went with it and that’s what I loved about this book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree, it’s totally unique in its genre in my opinion and that’s both the great beauty and the problem of this book, at least when trying to sell it to other people haha.

        Maggie Stiefvater’s writing in this series is to die for. She has such a strong narrative voice which somehow manages to be both witty and profound in equal measure! Plus all her characters have very distinct personalities and voices, no one sounds the same as any other character and I really appreciate the craft evident in that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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