The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys

“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 fro...

Title:The Raven Boys
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Edition Language:English

The Raven Boys Reviews

  • Wendy Darling

    On a cold night every spring, sixteen-year-old Blue and her psychic mother wait in a churchyard for the dead to arrive. Her mother is usually the one who sees the spirits of people who will die within the next twelve months, but this year, Blue herself is startled by the sad, desperate sight of a boy named Gansey falling to his knees before her.

    With those chilling

    On a cold night every spring, sixteen-year-old Blue and her psychic mother wait in a churchyard for the dead to arrive. Her mother is usually the one who sees the spirits of people who will die within the next twelve months, but this year, Blue herself is startled by the sad, desperate sight of a boy named Gansey falling to his knees before her.

    With those chilling words, Blue is caught up in a mystery she never expected involving the privileged Raven Boys from Aglionby Academy. She must guard her heart closely, however, because Blue's always been told that she's destined to kill her true love with a kiss.

    If Edgar Allan Poe had taught the boys of

    ,

    is the type of tale he might've told, one that emerges through curl of smoke and excites with a flash of fire. This story, which seems to be

    , is haunted by ghosts, invigorated by a fantastical search for a legendary sleeping Welsh king, and tinged with the frightening dark beauty of centuries-old magic.

    While the story starts out from Blue's point of view, the book is actually told in third-party omniscient style, a welcome change from the author's usual first person perspective, and a necessary one given the many characters we get to know, particularly the raven boys.

    , who is obsessed with the supernatural;

    , who yearns for a life outside what he knows;

    , whose anger hides untold regret; and

    , a troubled soul who knows more than he lets on. I loved the complicated relationship between these boys, from their good-natured jeers to their anxious concern for one another. There is a collegial feel to the book that I very much enjoyed, but beyond that, there is also a deeply felt connection and a mysterious synergy between the characters that I hadn't felt in the author's books since

    and

    . It's a surprise to find that the strongest and most compelling facet of this novel isn't necessarily the romance--although that is also intriguing and incredibly complicated--but the brotherly love between this tightly-knit group of boys.

    There are several mysteries going on, all of which aroused my curiosity. I have to admit, however, there are so many characters and plot lines to keep track of that the first half of the book was occasionally bewildering and a little maddening. As with

    , I also find some of the names a bit distracting since there are so many unusual ones (although I do like some of them, including the rather gloriously pompous "Barrington Whelk"), and the propensity to overuse proper nouns when a simple "he" or "she" would do occasionally tried my patience. While I think the novel would be stronger overall if it was a little more focused and lost some of its cluttering details, these are small nitpicks in such an imaginative book, and the whirlwind of the second half definitely rewards those who stick with it. I liked that we see more of the author's offbeat humor in this novel, and her gift for seeing beauty in ordinary things still moves me.

    I'm happy to find another Maggie Stiefvater book that I like so much and I'm incredibly excited to see where this story goes next. That cryptic ending--and the loose ends with Blue's romantic destiny--will guarantee that I'll be one of the first people in line for the sequel.

    For fans of intelligent mystery and fantasy, this unkindness of ravens is well worth your time.

    We know we've been spoiling our readers with giveaways recently, but there are a

    of great books releasing this fall. Thanks to our friends at Scholastic Books, you can

    !

    If you'd like to

    , the first two chapters are up on

    as well.

  • Emily May

    I seem to have this habit. For the past couple of years, I've mostly been deliberately avoiding paranormal YA from authors I don't already love. The genre is a hard sell for me, filled with tropes that lead to low ratings and irritated reviews. But really, what tends to happen is this: the first book comes out and I avoid it, look the other way as other bloggers get excited and fangirl over the upcoming sequel.

    Then t

    I seem to have this habit. For the past couple of years, I've mostly been deliberately avoiding paranormal YA from authors I don't already love. The genre is a hard sell for me, filled with tropes that lead to low ratings and irritated reviews. But really, what tends to happen is this: the first book comes out and I avoid it, look the other way as other bloggers get excited and fangirl over the upcoming sequel.

    Then the next book appears and more positive reviews roll in and, I admit, I start to get curious. But I ignore it. Then the third and often final book is about to be released and everyone is so damn enthusiastic that I... just... have to... check the series out. Yes, I am a fool. I am that cliche about the cat and curiosity.

    It's sad because I love a good paranormal tale, but I don't know if I'm just getting too old and cynical to read these supernatural romancey teen books. Either that or I've read one too many. Because I am honestly not sold on the big dilemma in this book.

    Basically...

    ...um, I’m not really seeing a difficult decision to be made here. The only thing I'm seeing is a whole lot of melodrama and names that make the characters sound like horses.

    I know, I know, TRU WUV and all that, I am so cold. Well, forgive me if I’m not caught up in this emo love angst, but could you please get over yourselves, choose life, and go find someone else. But no, of course not, because this book is largely about the will they/won’t they, which is also likely what the following novels are about too.

    There is some good writing at points and a decent ghostly atmosphere; though I'm still not convinced two stars isn't leaning towards generous. The complex plot that has been so praised by critics and bloggers just

    . I guess it's imaginative in some sense and I haven't heard anything quite like it before - props for that - but it was soooo slow. And it seemed to take forever for the author to reveal WHY the Raven Boys were searching for some Welsh king, so I had no reason to invest in their mission.

    And yes, then we have Mr and Mrs Angst. The usual relationship/love drama aside, I found it so difficult to like these characters. I have a hard time finding sympathy for a rich white boy with his own apartment and vintage car (at seventeen!), who wants to kiss a girl but can't. Blue isn't much better... overly quirky outcast - i.e.

    - who makes her own clothes and judges people she doesn't know.

    But it's my fault. I knew it was a bad idea. I suck. Please don't hate me, I brought a cat gif:

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  • Raeleen Lemay

    OK. SO THIS BOOK WAS PRETTY GREAT.

    The book was very slow-moving for the first half or so, but I always found myself drawn in by the beautiful writing and the fabulous characters. This story is first and foremost about the characters, and I completely adored the friendship between the boys, and between Blue and the boys later on. Going into this, I thought it was going to be told solely from Blue's POV, and I am

    that it wasn't. Getting to know the boys before they got to know Blue was a r

    OK. SO THIS BOOK WAS PRETTY GREAT.

    The book was very slow-moving for the first half or so, but I always found myself drawn in by the beautiful writing and the fabulous characters. This story is first and foremost about the characters, and I completely adored the friendship between the boys, and between Blue and the boys later on. Going into this, I thought it was going to be told solely from Blue's POV, and I am

    that it wasn't. Getting to know the boys before they got to know Blue was a real treat.

  • Lola  Reviewer

    The only character I like is Ronan. Which is... very ironic.

    Truly, there's nothing actually ''wrong'' with her style; it simply does not appeal to me. But this is the kind of story that I feel would be read in a better way if written in the 1st person point of view instead of 3rd. There is this possibility to feel connected to the protagonists... but a slim and invisible barrier seems to continuously block that connection. Even for Ronan.

    The only character I like is Ronan. Which is... very ironic.

    Truly, there's nothing actually ''wrong'' with her style; it simply does not appeal to me. But this is the kind of story that I feel would be read in a better way if written in the 1st person point of view instead of 3rd. There is this possibility to feel connected to the protagonists... but a slim and invisible barrier seems to continuously block that connection. Even for Ronan. I may ''like'' him and I might've enjoyed reading about him, but I surely don't ''love'' his character. He has too much of a poorly explained and justified negativity and bad behaviour.

    Oh well, it happens. Onto the next one.

  • Kai

    A TV SHOW! A TV SHOW! - It's going to be directed by Catherine Hardwick, the woman who directed Twilight and Red Riding Hood. I know some of you think she may not be the best choice but I think she's perfect. She has a talent for mystery and magic, and if you aren't convinced you should watch Eyewitness, which is a fantastic and highly underrated TV show. Catherine directed a couple of episodes. Also, Maggie Stiefvater will be a producer for the show, which (hopefully) means that they won't stra

    A TV SHOW! A TV SHOW! - It's going to be directed by Catherine Hardwick, the woman who directed Twilight and Red Riding Hood. I know some of you think she may not be the best choice but I think she's perfect. She has a talent for mystery and magic, and if you aren't convinced you should watch Eyewitness, which is a fantastic and highly underrated TV show. Catherine directed a couple of episodes. Also, Maggie Stiefvater will be a producer for the show, which (hopefully) means that they won't stray too far from the actual plot. I can't wait to see it.

    When I first read

    a year ago, I never thought I would fall in love with it, and then all over again and again and again. I didn't expect it to turn out this way.

    I expected a cheesy romantic up-and-down relationship between Blue and Gansey. Ghosts and foretellings, sure, but definitely not this good. In fact, I expected an average teen fantasy novel, but Maggie Stiefvater did better than that. Much better. Because she has this unique fantasy and creativity. Four beautiful boys (not (only) talking about appearances), a talented out of this world family of seers, like never heard of before. A story so magical and incredible, I was bewitched from start to end.

    I loved

    . But with this series Maggie Stiefvater wrote a way into my heart.

  • Zoë

    Reread in 2017:

    I loved it

    much more the second time! Every character was unique and fleshed out and I fell in love with them all! Well, most of them. Can't wait to pick up The Dream Thieves!

    Book 34/100 of 2015:

    I really enjoyed this! I came into this book not knowing anything about the plot, just that there were some weirdly named kids and something about ravens. It was a little difficult to get into as I had no idea where the plot would go and it was just overall pretty slow. However, halfway

    Reread in 2017:

    I loved it

    much more the second time! Every character was unique and fleshed out and I fell in love with them all! Well, most of them. Can't wait to pick up The Dream Thieves!

    Book 34/100 of 2015:

    I really enjoyed this! I came into this book not knowing anything about the plot, just that there were some weirdly named kids and something about ravens. It was a little difficult to get into as I had no idea where the plot would go and it was just overall pretty slow. However, halfway through it really picked up and surprised me! I will definitely be picking up the next book sometime in the near future.

  • Riley

    Easily the best book I've read all year.

    I've never read a book before where I love every single character equally.

    Blue: she is everything i aspire to be and i just want to be bffs with her

    Gansey: yes plz

    Ronan: he's so scary and angry but you just know he secretly loves to watch cute cat videos

    Adam: he must be wrapped in a warm blanket and protected at all costs

    Noah: my precious cinnamon bun

  • Nat

    This review contains

    .

    I went into this book expecting to hate it, but I was truly surprised by it— right from page 1.

    I read the prologue before I went to bed and I had to convince myself to put it down because I knew if I wouldn’t, I’d be extremely sleep deprived the next morning. It was so

    .

    And it was constantly on my mind the next morning, I kept thinking about that fat

    This review contains

    .

    I went into this book expecting to hate it, but I was truly surprised by it— right from page 1.

    I read the prologue before I went to bed and I had to convince myself to put it down because I knew if I wouldn’t, I’d be extremely sleep deprived the next morning. It was so

    .

    And it was constantly on my mind the next morning, I kept thinking about that fateful moment when I could just sit down and read it.

    I finished

    in 2 sittings (although reading it at night was extremely scary for me).

    This book follows the events of Blue Sargent. Every year, Blue 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.

    I loved Blue’s family. They captured my attention in the prologue and were the reason that I had to finish this book.

    I was so intrigued by them, they reminded me of my favorite family in

    .

    I love it when I find books with families similar to

    family.

    There are also no words that can describe how much I appreciated Blue’s mother, Maura.

    This book is mainly told from the perspectives of Gansey and Blue.

    Gansey is on a quest that has encompassed three of his closest friends: 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.

    I love books where we get multiple main characters.

    But it took me a few chapters to get used to Gansey’s voice. His chapters felt a little slow-paced compared to Blue’s.

    Initially, the only thing that made his chapters more interesting was when Ronan showed up. I found his character to be a lot more compelling than Gansey’s. I really cared for Ronan (especially when he took care of his raven, Chainsaw)

    But the more I got into the story, the more my love for the characters grew. They all added something so heartbreaking to the story.

    The only time I remember really smiling (instead of crying) was when Gansey and Blue interacted with each other, they were so comfortable with one another and incredibly funny. I loved them.

    Blue was a great protagonist, she is one of the most unique females I've ever read. She is vulnerable but tough. She is clever but has moments of doubt. And her relationships with her family is heartwarming, especially with her mother.

    And Adam Parrish broke a little piece of my heart.

    I was crying when I found out why Adam didn’t show up at school the morning after Gansey called him at midnight about Ronan being missing.

    And when Gansey came to check on Adam, I was just in tears. I was so emotional. That part hit too close to home.

    I had to put down the book for a few minutes just to try and calm down.

    But towards the end when Adam was confronted by his hideous father, and Ronan came to save Adam— there were tears just streaming down my face (I was so thankful that I was home alone).

    I love Ronan. And I’m so emotional.

    Ronan's reply broke me.

    was definitely a book that astonished me with its beautiful writing style, memorable cast of characters, and complete uniqueness.

    I love books that can surprise me with how good and eccentric they are.

    Also,

    really fit the mood of the book for me.

    ,

  • Jessica Edwards

    4 Stars!

    What an enjoyable read this was.

    Blue, a teenage girl lives in a house full of psychic aunts and her mother. Ever since Blue was little, she was told that her true love will die if she kisses him. (That's one way to scare a little child...shit)

    Blue goes to church with her Aunt Neeve on St. Mark's Eve, which is when the spirits of those who will die in the next twelve months come through. (Nice....)

    Blue has no psychic ability, but she sees the spirit of a boy named Gansey. Aunt Neeve tells

    4 Stars!

    What an enjoyable read this was.

    Blue, a teenage girl lives in a house full of psychic aunts and her mother. Ever since Blue was little, she was told that her true love will die if she kisses him. (That's one way to scare a little child...shit)

    Blue goes to church with her Aunt Neeve on St. Mark's Eve, which is when the spirits of those who will die in the next twelve months come through. (Nice....)

    Blue has no psychic ability, but she sees the spirit of a boy named Gansey. Aunt Neeve tells her this is because Gansey is either her true love, or she will kill him.

    Blue eventually meets Gansey and his group of friends: Adam, Ronan and Noah. The boys go to Aglionby, which is a rich all-boys school, so typically Blue sees them as snobs. Haha

    Blue slowly develops a friendship with them and joins them on their quest to find ley lines and the buried Welsh King, Glendower.

    Gasney's been trying to find the Welsh King since he was small and almost died of hornet stings. He refues to give up until he finds Glendower, but the boys and Blue aren't the only ones looking for the ley lines...

    I liked Blue as a character. I mean, she's a typical teenage girl, and to be honest I find her quite extraordinary too.

    She lives in a small town, argues with her mother and she hates going to school.

    Blue has knows since she was a child what will happen to her when she falls in love, and I don't think anyone would want that. Blue knows that her love life can't end well because her mother and her aunts are psychic. I'd find it pretty hard to live like a normal teenager if that were to happen to me.

    When Blue meets Gansey for the first time, she isn't impressed by his confidence and handsome features. Her instant thought is that he's a rich snob and that she can't imagine to ever fall in love with him. Haha!

    Gansey has his own apartment, tries to pay people for their time and thinks nothing of a lot of money.

    HE'S RICH BASICALLY.

    Overall this was a light read and I enjoyed it.

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    i'm so glad i re-read this before carrying on with the series! there were so many things that i had forgotten. SO MANY IMPORTANT THINGS. plus it was fun to re-read, because of all the foreshadowing. SO MCUH FORESHADOWING I TELL YA. i'm reading the series as apart of the missmareadalong & there is still time to join in if you want to read the raven cycle this month!! more info here:

    plus there are lots of GIVEAWAAAAYS happening! more info for that here:

    i'm so glad i re-read this before carrying on with the series! there were so many things that i had forgotten. SO MANY IMPORTANT THINGS. plus it was fun to re-read, because of all the foreshadowing. SO MCUH FORESHADOWING I TELL YA. i'm reading the series as apart of the missmareadalong & there is still time to join in if you want to read the raven cycle this month!! more info here:

    plus there are lots of GIVEAWAAAAYS happening! more info for that here:


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