Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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Title: The Raven Boys

Author:  Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4.75/5

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Publisher:  Scholastic Press

Summary (Goodreads):

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.


Review:

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THE HYPE FOR THIS BOOK WAS REAL! Maybe that’s why I was avoiding it so much. I mean I know I wanted to read it, but I kept on thinking about how disapointed I would be if I hated this book. The tag line at the front of this book is- If you kiss your true love, he will die- sounds a bit cheesy right? I actually didn’t look a lot into the summary for the book actually and when I actually had the book I only skimmed read the summary at the back. I wanted to go in blind and thank god I did!

Plot:

Blue lives in a house full of psychics, she being the only one who isn’t. She simply makes the room ‘louder’ for her mother and aunts. The only psychic reading that has left an impression on her in all of her sixteen years of life was her own- kiss your true love and he will die. Blue never took notice of it, that was until her life gets entangled with the lives of four private school students- also know as the Raven Boys. As she gets to know each of them, secrets, dark and mysterious secrets, start to unfold and maybe The Raven Boys’ quest for a lost Welsh king might be more treacherous then they ever imagined.

This book was not what I was expecting at all! The couple of pages threw me off because I thought it was set in a fantasy world. I was building up this image of a fantasy world about a girl called Blue in my head and that came crashing down hahaha! The start of the book started strongly and I’ve heard that the start is considered slow but I found it interesting! I loved just familiarising myself with the characters and the whole situation. Nothing felt too info dumpy or draggy, just all very intriguing. The middle just made the book go strength to strength bringing in different plot twists which had me gasping. There is just a point in the book where you can tell things went dark and I LOVED IT!  The ending was lovely and sudden…but maybe a bit too sudden. Like, I enjoyed it, but I feel like it could of been tidied up a bit better after all what happened. Still left me wanting more of the Raven Boys though!

I will just say now that even though the tag line is ‘If you kiss your true love, he will die’  and the summary heavily implies romance, romance is NOT the central theme in this book which made me love this book even more. In past discussion posts I’ve talked about my love for adventure plots which incorporate romance but it isn’t the main theme. This might change in the second book, but after reading The Raven Boys I can see why it might.

Writing:

Stiefvater’s writing was pleasantly effortless, her words just suck me right in without hesitation- a skill that not all writers possess. Though the novel is set in the real world, you can really feel something off kilter and mystical about the setting and that atmosphere can only be made by some great writing skills! Stiefvater makes you feel like you teleported into the book and you can just sense the magic in the air. The pacing was great throughout the novel though got a bit dodgy at the end with all of the suddenness of everything.

“I guess I make things that need energy stronger. I’m like a walking battery.”
“You’re the table everyone wants at Starbucks,” Gansey mused as he began to walk again.
Blue blinked. “What?”
Over his shoulder, Gansey said, “Next to the wall plug.”

Characters:

Blue is likable main character. She’s funny, sensible and just aware of herself which makes her great to get to know and follow about. When I mean she’s sensible- she is really sensible which reminded me of myself actually. It was so refreshing to read about a protagonist who actually thought about things before doing them. And her relationships with her mother and aunts were really love to read about. Good to see a healthy parent-child relationship!

Gansey was a great, solid character also! I just admired his passion and determination. You can tell he is really caring about the things he holds dear and that care wouldn’t be sacrificed for nothing. Under his obsession with a Welsh king he is actually just a lost boy who depends on his friends and wants more out of life. Now let’s talk about Adam because I LOVED ADAM! I think I just collected another fictional boyfriends (I really should just add all of the Raven Boys into that collection because I love them all!)!. Adam’s chapters were some of my favourite because they were just so LOVELY! I know that isn’t a proper description but I just loved his POV and just his and Gansey’s friendship and any scene with them too in. He goes a bit…well you see when you read it, but I still can’t help but want to hug him!

Ronan was so dark and mysterious and I’m so happy that it looks like we’re getting more of him in the next book because I need to know what’s going on in his mind! Noah was another great character and just really hug-able if that makes any sense.

What I Liked:

  • The characters had to be one of my favourite things about The Raven Boys- all of them were just superb!
  • Writing was EXCELLENT!
  • The Raven Boys
  • Blue
  • Just the whole plot!

What I Disliked/ Could Be Improved:

  • The ending could of been wrapped up better
  • The pacing got a bit messy at the end of the book.

Verdict: The Raven Boys blew me away! If it wasn’t for terrific fivesome made up of Blue and the Raven Boys, then it was just the mystical and interesting plot that wrapped itself around my brain and didn’t let go until the final page. READ THIS BOOK if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it!

-Astra

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26 thoughts on “Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Yay! I’m so so glad you liked this book so much. It’s one of my favourite series and I cannot wait for my copy of The Raven King to arrive because I need to know how it ends! I honestly think the series gets better and better with each book, at the moment Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my favourite so if you loved The Raven Boys then you’re definitely in for a treat when you read the next books. Do you plan to read The Dream Thieves soon?

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      I should of so read it earlier, I don’t know what I was worried about! I can definitely see why it would be one of your favourite series! Have you got your copy of The Raven King yet? I am hearing from many people that it’s going to ‘break you’.😄
      I’ve started The Dream Thieves and I’m loving it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        I felt the same way when I finished first three books! But then We would have had a really long wait for the last book and I don’t think I could,d have stood that! I’m still waiting on my paperback copy to be dispatched but I have a copy on my Kindle so I started it today, hoping to finish it tomorrow. But yeah I have a feeling The Raven King is going to completely destroy me!
        I loved The Dream Thieves, it’s such a brilliant book, I hope you love the rest of this series too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Michelle says:

    I’ve really waited to read this, but like you said, the hype was SO much. But if you said the hype was real, I basically have to go out now and get it! Great review, this really sounds awesome 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MorganPaige says:

    Well now you convinced me 🙂 So many people love these books and I’ve (attempted to) read Stiefvater’s older stuff a looooong time ago. Sounds like she’s gotten a LOT better! I’ll have to pick this up- strong characterization is my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      YAY I CONVINCED SOMEONE😄
      I think her other series (Shiver or something like that) wasn’t that brilliant going by reviews, but The Raven Boys totally shocked me in a good way! The characters were definitely the strongest part of the book I feel.
      I hope you enjoy it when you start reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    YAYYY!!! So happy you loved this 😃 The series just keeps getting better too!! I love all the things you mentioned so much. The characters especially and how romance is not the focus despite the underlying theme being that Blue can’t kiss her true love!! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the rest of the series ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      I’M SO HAPPY I LIKED IT TOO😊
      I am definitely invested in this series now and can’t wait to read it all!
      I was so surprised while reading it because I was thinking ‘where’s the big romance at??’ but I didn’t mind at all! The characters was a big part of why I loved the book. As individual but as a unit as well they were all brilliant😄

      Like

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