Hype or Like Friday Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Raven Cycle #1
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Purchase
Pages: 409

Summary (from 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.

Okay, so after spending two days trying to write this review, I'm going to go about this a little bit differently and just discuss kind of what I was expecting and what I actually got.

This is definitely a book that has a lot of hype surrounding it. I honestly can only think of one person off the top of my head that didn't really like this book. Everyone just RAVES about this series and I think that might partially be why I hesitated so long to read it. But beyond that, I thought this book was going to be something else entirely so that was holding me back as well.

First of all, I didn't know that this book was going to be so... supernatural. I loved Blue's family of psychics and her ability to amplify energy to make readings more clear for them even if she didn't have the sight herself. I'm always so pleasantly surprised when I stumble across books with supernatural elements like this one when I didn't think it would be like this. I felt like the psychics and general chaos of Blue's house kind of reminded me of the movie Practical Magic. I really thought this book was going to be a bit more contemporary-ish. I don't know why.

I found Gansey's quest to find the sleeping Welsh king, Glendower, and the ley lines to be really interesting. I wasn't expecting to see this type of aspect in this book and I really enjoyed it. It has given me fuel for another A Glimpse Back in Time post. I loved the forest they found on their adventures where time stops and changes and the pond with color changing fish and the vision tree. I loved all the fantastical elements of this book and they were all such a pleasant surprise for me!

The other major thing about this book that was entirely different than I thought it would be was the romance. The two major things I knew about this series were that everyone was concerned that Gansey was going to die (which, I understand the concern now that I've read it) and there was a Pynch ship or something. So I was a bit surprised when Adam ended up being the love interest for Blue in this book. I can see where Gansey and Blue could be slowly starting up a relationship, but I'm not seeing anything Pynch related yet.

Something about this book that I quite enjoyed were the characters and their relationships. I mentioned Blue's family. They have such an awesome relationship and it's so chill. I loved seeing them all interact. And then there's the relationship between Blue and the raven boys and I loved their friendship. Both before Blue came along and after. They all have their own conflicts that interfere, but they're still all such good friends and it just seems so realistic to me. I loved the characters so much! I really want to see more about Noah in the next book. He struck me as so odd and just mostly seemed to lurk in the shadows, but I quite liked him.

Another thing this book has going for it is the writing. I don't know, I'm not big on describing the writing of books, but I really felt like the way this book was written REALLY went very well with the overall eerie, magical feeling of the book. I loved it.

If I had to complain about anything, it would be that this book is really rather slow. Not even in a necessarily bad way like NOTHING is happening, but more like there are things happening slowly building up to something else is how I felt. Also toward the end, Adam kind of got on my nerves, but I think that he can be redeemed. He's such a sweetie. OH! And I don't know if I just didn't read as carefully at some parts as I should have, but I really have no idea what Cabeswater is. I don't know if I missed it or if it wasn't written entirely clearly, but I'm totally lost about that one.

Overall, I'm super impressed with this book! I have already ordered the second one and am hoping to buy the last two the next time I get paid!

This book was definitely a LIKE for me! I'm so glad this meme lit a fire under my butt to read this one! Are any of you late to this party like I am? What did you think of this book?


  1. Woo! I'm glad this one wound up being a winner for you! The writing only improves with subsequent installments so I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Pynch doesn't really start to hold water until book three in my opinion but you'll see hints of it in book two ;)

    1. I'm so excited. I bought them all in hardcover now because I loved the first one so much! I'm excited to see Pynch and more Gansey/Blue and just see how they're little adventure goes from here!!!


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