Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) – Maggie Stiefvater

3 stars

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: September 18th 2012
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy


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 from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is 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 has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: 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.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, 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.


Everyone I admire in the bookish world seems to fall hard for this book. It was a bit underwhelming for me. I really expected so much more from this book. It felt like it was just a prequel to the rest of the series (but a very long one). I do feel as if the other books can be much better. Not much happened for the biggest part of the book and it took me quite some time to get into the story.

Also, why is everyone such a Ronan fan? I really don’t get it. I think I just miss an overall connection to the characters. Maybe if I had read this book a couple of years earlier I would have enjoyed it more? I kind of get the hype surrounding the books, but I don’t think I will ever get the hype surrounding Ronan. I just think he is a sad boy and just fails at being a decent human being. I know he has a lot of problems. But that doesn’t mean I’m obligated to like him.

I also felt like the relationships overall (not just the love relationships but also the friendships) were really slow. It felt at some points like they had known each other months before they even considered being friendly. The raven boys acted like girls are gross (are they 9 or something?) and I really don’t know yet how I’m feeling about Blue… that will have to be decided in the next books. In the beginning everyone is keeping my hopes up for a sweet romances, but at the end of the book I’m like, is that it???

Maybe I should read all the other books before I can truly understand this hype. I will definitely give the other books a new chance!


  • I felt the same way about this book and I’m not even sure I finished. Looking forward to seeing if continuing is worth it.

  • Wow. That quote at start of your review really hooked me in. I haven’t actually heard of this book before but it was still interesting to read your thoughts.

  • I felt the same about the first book. It’s really more laying the foundation for what’s to come than anything else. I personally didn’t like Gansey all that much and found all that rich-boys-just-being-rich-boys theme quite annoying, and the prophecy about true love and kissing incredibly lame. I still read all of the other books and now I’m more obsessed with the characters than is healthy for someone my age. Or anyone’s age really. I’m downright certifiable ? And in my opinion Ronan is the most interesting character exactly because he fails at so many things, but he’s actually a good person. Life just screwed him over and he’s just too intense to ignore it.
    But you’re right, the plot is nothing special. I really can’t tell you what the hype is all about, only that I feel I have lost control over my life because of these boys ?

  • I didn’t get the Ronan hype in the first book either. I’ll just say he definitely grew on me!

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