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Friday, November 2, 2012

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publishing House: Scholastic Press
ISBN: 978-0-545-42492-9
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve. Either you're his true love... or you killed him."

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, and he's 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 that 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 that 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.

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.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; summary lifted from actual book)


I knew I had to have this book as soon as I saw it up on GoodReads. Needless to say, I'm a Maggie Stiefvater fan. I started with her Shiver trilogy, to which I reserved opinion that her writing only got better after each book. I also read The Scorpio Races, which I thought was something I may not like (as it involved a kind of magical horse breed), but ended up loving more than the Shiver trilogy!

Could The Raven Boys then possibly triumph over The Scorpio Races as my favorite Stiefvater book?

Blue Sargent's world is described with such detail that made me feel like I can easily imagine her world, and living a life in her town. How can Stiefvater weave words into sentences with such flair that makes even the simplest sentences seem elegant? 

With the numerous lively characters in the book, I'm afraid Blue would be the least interesting character of them all for me. I would not fault her, however, probably because even her house is already chock-full of eccentric characters. Blue has been commented on being sensible in the book quite a few times, after all. Gansey is like an old soul trapped in a teenager's body. He is very verbose, and makes quite the unusual leader of the pack. Where other boys are more interested in the opposite gender, parties, and vices, Gansey steers his pack in pursuit of Glendower's remains. Ronan, another privileged Aglionby student, is an intriguing, and  a quite damaged character. Although his ability of being especially good in Latin strikes me as something that is too coincidental as it is very helpful in their quest, Ronan would be my favorite of the Raven Boys. Noah isn't really quite around the book much, but he is an integral character in the second half. Adam, the scholarship student, was someone I had mixed feelings about. I didn't particularly like him, but his very particular search for his own independence is quite inspiring. However, Adam also had moments that had me thinking that neither Blue, his friends, nor the reader would ever get to really understand him. At times, even Adam himself was surprised of his rather dark thoughts. 

The storyline is utterly original, and I think this is what I love the best about Maggie Stiefvater's works, although the pacing of the first half was quite slow, and the second half didn't fare much better either. However, I think that it is because that this isn't the kind of story that had to make use of action scenes that the flow of events made the story seem longer than it was. It was not until the last page that I felt that the book was drawing to a close. But then, Ronan made a confession  that trumped me, and had me flapping the pages back and forth to the point of almost half-shouting, "THAT'S IT? WHAAAT?!" Characters complex in nature were abundant, although I could not witness for myself why Blue would be drawn to Gancey, and in what manner. With that being said, I will then be patiently waiting for the second book just to see more of Ronan  to read more about Blue and the lovely cast of the Raven Boys.



  1. Ok, I think I'm going to have to buy this book now :) Thanks! And I love your blog name (I know you're not actually twins) but I am one so YAY!!! Have a nice day and may the odds be ever in your favour :P Oh, and be sure to check out my blog!
    ~ Ruby at

    1. Aww, thank you for stopping by! We hope you enjoy reading The Raven Boys. If you do get a chance to review it, we'd love to know what you thought about it. :)

  2. I've only read Shiver, but I enjoyed it, so def need to pick it up esp after this review.

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. I just listened to this audio book and almost went crazy at the end, lol. I thought the cd had skipped. I'm obsessed with Stiefvater's writing. I started with The Scorpio Races and then went in chronological order. It is bizarre how quickly and obviously her writing improves. I have to say, I didn't like Shiver/Linger etc.

    1. The Scorpio Races still reigns as my favorite Stiefvater book. I think her Shiver series is either a hit or a miss with the readers. :) I love love love that her writing style always changes; it keeps her books interesting!