Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys cover Maggie StiefvaterBook Title/Author:The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher/Release Date
: Scholastic – September 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy/Supernatural
Series: Yes, The Raven Boys is book 1 of The Raven Cycle series
Other Books From Author: The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, The Scorpio Races, Book of Faerie series

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I checked this bad boy out from my local library!



Blue has always kept her distance from boys as she’s been told by her clairvoyant mother that she’ll cause her true love to die. When she accompanies her mother, as she always does, on St. Mark’s EveΒ  she is able to see, for the first time ever, one of the soon-to-be dead walk on the Corpse Road as her mother days. The spirit, a young boy her age, reaches out to her and directly communicates with her. She crosses paths with the boy, Gansey, and find out he attends the wealthy private school — a Raven Boy. She finds herself curious about Gansey and soon finds out he and his best friends — Ronan, Adam and Noah — are on a mysterious quest that she also finds herself wrapped up in full of myths and magic and darkly strange things.

WOW! This is one of those books that I’m going to have to reread FOR SURE before the second book comes out because there is just SO MUCH TO THIS BOOK. It almost borderlines on TOO much to my brain but seriously these pages were bursting at the seams with WONDER and IMAGINATION and MYSTERIES I NEED TO KNOW. I read The Raven Boys in a single day — a single, very stormy wrapped-up-all-in-my-blankets kind of day and that is how I recommend you to read it. For that day, I pretty much could not pluck my brain and my heart out of this mesmerizing and fantastical world where there is magic, psychics, kings and ley lines and other supernatural things that just were so intricately woven in to the contemporary lives of our characters. Dishes were not done, the husband felt neglected (psh not too badly because that meant a whole day of video games) and I don’t recall getting up too much. One of the most absorbing books I’ve read in a long time!

This story was just SO unique and fresh. I’ve only read The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater but both of these books are the two most unique novels I’ve read in a long time. I found The Raven Boys to be much less poetic in nature (but still gorgeously written) as The Scorpio Races but The Raven Boys captured the same captivating storytelling ability I found in The Scorpio Races.Β  OH my stars can Maggie Stiefvater tell a story!Β  And the characters! I LOVED Blue and just found myself wanting to go on adventures with the Raven Boys — Gansey was definitely the most memorable for me! I just felt how confused Blue must feel knowing how that she’ll kill her true love with a kiss and then she sees Gansey walking on the Corpse Road and then later actually SEES him as a living and breathing human. I felt her curiosity and I understood why she wanted to spend her time with Gansey and the boys and became so enamored with their mission to find Glendower — just as enamored that I, as a reader, became with this journey and all the mystery! There’s just so much depth to these characters and yet I still feel like there is so much to learn about them!

I will say, while this wasn’t a HUGE problem for me, if you are the type who doesn’t like to wait a while for the story to come together..this might be hard for you…but just keep reading and then the story will really start to come together. And at times there is SO much going on — so many different threads to this story — and it can kind of be overwhelming that it borderlines on confusing at times. You’ll find yourself immediately taken to this story but it’s definitely a slow burn type of book.

Maggie Stiefvater is a master storyteller and I tumbled into these pages and stayed there until I finished it in one day. There’s a lot going on on in this novel but I found myself breezing right though it because of Maggie’s knack for just sucking you into the pages whether we are reading about Blue & her clairvoyant family or the Raven Boys search for Glendower. There’s magic and kings and psychics and ley lines and all sorts of mythological and supernatural intrigue worked right in there with the contemporary lives of these truly memorable, fleshed out characters! It takes a little bit to get into the story and there IS a lot going on but it’s just such a unique and wonderful story that is worth being patient for.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? Did you enjoy it or feel differently than I did? Which Raven Boy was your favorite?? I loved Gansey the most though all of them have a place in my heart!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’ve got this one on order from the library – and now I’m even more excited for it! =D Thanks for the review, Jamie.

  2. I agree, there was a lot of information to take in, but I definitely loved it! πŸ™‚

  3. This book is my next read for sure!

  4. Great review! I loved reading The Raven Boys. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series. I loved Noah because he was just too sweet. I think Ronan intrigues me the most. Something is going on with him. And (of course) I loved Gansey and Adam too. I guess I can’t pick a favorite!

  5. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Raven Boys Jamie! It was one of my favourite reads last year. My only complaint was about the ending. It left me so confused and I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly happened. I think my favourite Raven Boy was Adam. My heart broke a little for him at the end.

    Great Review :).

  6. I just loved this one! Definitely unique and so creative. I agree that there was a lot of information, borderlining on too much, but luckily it didn’t give me a problem, where books of that nature can often do. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! πŸ™‚

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  7. I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. The writing was what sucked me in, and the characters were what made me stay. It was fantastic and a book that I won’t be forgetting for a long while. The sequel can’t come fast enough for me!

  8. This was a fantastic read. I’m definitely going to have to do a re-read because there were so many intricate little details that I’m sure to forget them by the time the follow-up rolls around. I can’t wait for more of this story because that ending left me wanting so much more. Great review!

  9. I haven’t read anything by Maggie Stiefvater yet. Gasp! I did send my niece The Scorpio Races and she loved it.

    I do have this one on my shelf though so I will get to it soon.

  10. I just picked this one up from my local library on audio and can’t wait to start it! πŸ™‚

  11. I just read The Scorpio Races a few days ago and I have had a few people tell me that TSR is Maggie’s best work and still others tell me that The Raven Boys is her best work! I have The Raven Boys ready to read, but I wanted to distance myself from Scorpio Races before I dive back into her writing. I honestly can’t imagine that any book of hers can be better than The Scorpio Races, but lots of people are really loving this one! It’s very telling to me that you liked it too since I trust your opinion so much!

    (Secretly, I don’t think I want it to be as good as The Scorpio Races. Because that book kind of owns my heart right now. Am I weird for that? Probably so.) But I’m still excited to read it!

  12. I liked this book, but not one of my favorites. Glad you enjoyed it.

    My favourite Raven Boy was Gansey. πŸ™‚

  13. Yea, it was a huge problem for me. I couldn’t wait for things to come together, I guess. I stopped and started this book several times. It’s still waiting in my TBR pile, but I haven’t picked it up again. I just don’t understand why SO MANY people loved this book, and I just could not get through it. Hhrrrumph.

  14. I loved reading this one. There was a huge amount of information to take in, but it’s one of those books where you don’t want to stop reading, even though you know you should probably stop so you can actually process what’s going on within the story! I definitely need to get myself my own copy of this so I can re-read it before book two comes out, because there is no way I’ll be able to remember everything that went on. I loved all the Raven Boys, so much so that I can’t pick a favourite, but I’m probably the most curious about Ronan out of the four.

  15. I bought this book almost right when it came out. For some reason I HAD to have it… and it’s sat on my shelf ever since. I don’t know what’s taking me so long to read this book! Your review is definitely pushing me towards it.

  16. OMG, Maggie!! You clever wordsmith, you! Isn’t she just the greatest?! I also read The Scorpio Races first and while it was a good book, it didn’t capture my heart quite the way that The Raven Boys did. It’s so easy to find yourself swept away in the magic and mystery, the way that Blue was with Gancey and his quest. And you’re right, there is A LOT going on and the pace simmers to a slow boil, but man, it’s worth the wait! Especially when you find out that bit about Noah. Oh, my poor, sweet Noah. I think it’s a toss up for me between Noah and Ronan. I think I’m drawn to the tragedy behind them and I want to just give them both a super big squeeze of reassurance. SO FREAKING GOOD! This book made me a total Maggie-believer.

  17. I really loved the Raven Boys! It was also one of my favorites of 2012. And that ending… need the next one. Great review πŸ˜€

  18. I’ve heard good and bad about this book. I need to read it to figure out if I like Maggie Stiefvater, because I didn’t really enjoy Shiver. Too slow for me. Does this one have a similar feel?

  19. I loved this book too! And I agree Gansey was my favourite and is in fact one of my favourite characters of all time. It took some time to get into but was definitely worth it πŸ˜€

  20. Everyone says Maggie Stiefvater’s books are great and this is the one that I’ve been dying to read. The story sounds so inventive and completely magical.

  21. I have read Scorpio Races & the Shiver series. I love her writing style, but her endings always disappoint me. I wasn’t sure I was going to give her another try but I think I will after reading this. Thanks for the review.

  22. I loved Gansey the most, for sure. The thing that i loved the most was that the journey was the main focus, not the relationships. Great review.

  23. Can’t say that I have heard of either of these books however your review is so energetic I will be at least finding out more about them! Great blog here πŸ˜€

  24. It makes me so happy that you loved The Raven Boys! Maggie is one of my favorite writers. She’s a master at bringing a certain atmosphere into her stories, bringing characters to life and writing with a beautiful, almost melodic rhythm. Reading your review just made me all excited for the next book in this series!

  25. I think I might just have to read this book. And I see the NOOK version is only $10 so I can start reading it right away!

  26. Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader says:

    What a raving review that totally tells us that you LOVED it. This has gotta be on one of my TBR’s this year

  27. I found your review through Alexa Loves Books, and it was so fun to read because I just finished Raven Boys last week myself! I completely agree that this book was mesmerizing! I loved that it was fantasy, but not like any other fantasy I’d ever read before! Ley lines? Psychics? Hidden kings? So different and fresh!

    And the characters! I loved Gansey and Adam most of all. And their conflicts helped you understand who they are as people, and I LOVE THAT.

    I’m super curious how Chainsaw will impact the series… I feel like that little bird is important, but not sure how yet…

    And I agree with you that Maggie’s books can be slow starters. I’ve found that with all her books. But they are beautifully crafted stories and I hope everyone is patient and gives the books time to develop before putting it down.

    Great review!
    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

  28. I really enjoyed this one – although you’re right about it taking a little while for everything to start making sense. It’s definitely a slower read until ALL OF THE SUDDEN stuff starts happening. I agree this is one I’ll have to re-read before starting the second book because there is no way I’ll remember all the important details that will be relevant.

  29. I loved this book. It’s so easy to fall in love with her writing. I can’t wait to read the second one.

  30. Ah! I’m so glad you liked it! I’m currently reading the second book and I’m loving it just as much, if not more, than the first!

  31. Great review! These are my favorite kind of books, the ones that you HAVE to reread because they have so many layers and threads… there’s always something new to come back to. I feel like Maggie Stiefvater does that more and more in her books. Interesting comparison to Scorpio Races– I hasn’t considered that RB does less with the lyrical prose and more with layers of complexity/characters… both great books!

  32. Started reading this but couldn’t get through the first 50 or so pages, feel like I should I start reading it again. πŸ™‚