Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on May 20, 2016 | 2 Comments

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic Press (9.18.2016)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 409 pages
Source: I own it

5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Oh my gosh, how do I even put it into words? I guess I’ll start with a confession. I tried to read this book almost 4 years ago, either before it came out or right after (I’m pretty sure I had a review copy from NetGalley). I read maybe two chapters and just…quit. And never picked it back up again. Now that I’ve finished it, I’m asking myself: WHY?! I put off reading it for years because I was afraid I wouldn’t like it, since I couldn’t get into it the first time. But I have NO clue why, because I didn’t even give it a fair chance! Yes, the second chapter is pretty slow, but the end of the first chapter is super intriguing?? I don’t get it guys. *shakes head at younger self*

This time around, I LOVED IT! I was intrigued from the very beginning, because honestly I had no clue going in what this book was even about. But the mention of psychics and ley lines drew me in. Then, I got to the part where Blue sees Gansey for the first time and doesn’t realize it’s him. I loved that scene so much! I feel like I already knew the characters from hearing so much about them vicariously, so it was exciting to finally meet them all myself. The same with the quotes (like “The Trees speak Latin”) and places (Cabeswater)! I had already heard about all the people and places and quotes but didn’t know what they meant. Now I know!

It’s really hard to describe this book. It’s very strange and magical. There’s just something about it that draws you in. It’s very addicting! When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. Even when I was in the slow part in the beginning. Maggie’s writing style is very engaging! There’s something so beautiful and real about the way she writes. The way she describes certain feelings is so on point that you feel them too. And THE CHARACTERS. They’re so realistic, it’s like you actually know them! You become invested in them. You get attached to them. My feels for this book were pretty strong. There were so many scenes that I just loved so much! It’s really something you have to experience for yourself.

I had many people tell me that this book was slow. It kinda is, but it’s not at the same time? It’s not slow in a bad way. Maggie takes a lot of time to develop the plot and the characters and the world so you get a true feel of the story and the background of the characters. There’s a strong emphasis on characterization. And there’s still things happening that draw your interest and make you want more!

“Watch for the devil. When there’s a god, there’s always a legion of devils.”

It feels so ordinary at first – like the Boys are just chasing a dream – that when magic does come, it feels like it could really happen. And it’s so exciting!! I loved everything about Glendower and the ley lines. And Cabeswater! That place was so awesome! Gah, I just loved it so much I can’t even put it into words. I love the magical feel of this book and the very National Treasure/DaVinci Code feel it had. It’s so amazing when things start coming together like a puzzle! (I love puzzles, they’re so satisfying XD)

View Spoiler »

And the last line of the book?!?! I NEED TO READ DREAM THIEVES LIKE NOW.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 4.5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World-building: 4.5/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

    • You should definitely still try it! It’s so beautifully written, and it’s very character driven with a lot of strangeness mixed in. It’s definitely something you need to read for yourself!

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