Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue has never been able to see the spirits who are destined to die. But suddenly, she can see one. A boy with the crest of a raven on his chest.

The reasons why tonight, of all nights, that she can see the spirit, is because either she killed him or he is her true love.

She asks for his name.

“Gansey.”

The Raven boys


This is my very first Stiefvater book. It’s not like I haven’t been able to find her books in my library or anything but I’ve been less than enthusiastic about picking up her books. Her Shiver series has mixed reviews and I wasn’t really that eager to delve into forbidden romance between a magical creature and a human girl again since reading Twilight. Thus, I was extremely hesitant in picking up the first book of The Raven Cycle series.

It took me a while to get used to the writing style. I actually was annoyed for the first 100 pages because I felt like there was more tell rather than show. A lot of long descriptions about the various characters that I felt were unnecessary especially since I thought Stiefvater could have integrated those descriptions more smoothly in actions or through the other characters.

The Characters

I don’t think there’s another word that can describe Gansey other than good. He’s…warm and kind and innocent-in-an-ignorant-but-endearing way. He’s like the best friend you could ever have, the guy you want to have your back in a fight or basically at any time, and brother. Perhaps, besides good, the word brother is also a suitable description. He is portrayed as being perfect: rich, good-looking, kind. The flaws that he has are subtle and are his virtues as well as vices.

I felt so bad for Adam at the same time that I admired his tenacity and his determination, at the exact same time that I seriously wanted to smack that boy’s head. Why is he trying to be so stupid by trying to be noble?

It would have been nice to learn more about Noah, what his past was and who he is as a person rather than simply shy and awkward. Hopefully, Noah’s personality will be revealed more in the other books.

Neither Adam nor Ronan are making it easy for Gansey. The former refuses to accept Gansey’s help, while the latter accepts his help and throws it back in his face. Gansey is pretty much the glue holding his friends together. I feel like this quote summarizes who Gansey is as a person:

They were always walking away from [Gansey]. But he never seemed able to walk away from them.

I was pretty indifferent to Blue. Detached in a way. She felt like the sidekick since she enhances energy but doesn’t have the obvious psychic powers that her family shows. As the story progressed, I felt like she was fading more and more into the background. There wasn’t much of a spotlight on her even though she was supposed to be aquirky character. Blue gave off the vibe of “trying-too-hard-to-be-different”: her wardrobe, her name (it’s never explained how she got that name) and she even said that she was weird. My definition of quirky characters are people who don’t even realize that they’re different; Blue is too self-conscious of her ‘weirdness’.

Overall, I think this was a pretty good book. The paranormal elements were exciting and it was fast-paced. I found it a little confusing with the plot sometimes because it took very long for it to be explained why Gansey was so obsessed with Glendower. But what really sold me on the book were the raven boys and the compassionate, loyal friendship between them that is undeniably fraught with flaws.

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

  1. I DNFed this one the first time around but I’ve made an effort to give them another go by breaking my book buying ban and buying the first two to the series. I’m glad that you relatively enjoyed this, Hilary!

    Brilliant review, hun <33

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  2. Awk, this is my favouritest book in the world. xD I agree it is a little slow and I was dubious…BUT THEN I WAS IN LOVE BY THE END. IN LOVE WITH EVERYONE. I loved Adam a lot, even though he was jerky, and Gansey is two tonnes of adorable sweetness. But Ronan is my favourite. I have a soft spot for dark-hearted characters. 😉
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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  3. HEY, at least you enjoyed it. I’M WITH CAIT AS IN THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BOOK EVER EVERYONE OUT OF THE WAY. But I’m weird with Stiefvater. I adore her writing to bits. Love it, her. But you’d have to take me out for ten free meals before you get me to read the Shiver series. I read like a tiny bit of that way back when and I abandoned it. Werewolves and I will never got together. Neither will horses, which is why I refused The Scorpio Races as well. But a friend got me that one recently so I guess I’ll read it in due time. GANSEY is all kinds of good. I kind of want to marry him. SO MUCH LOL Adam didn’t actually grow on me until Blue Lily. I kind of all kinds of hated him in the first two books. Fantastic review, my dear! ❤

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    1. Gansey was pure awesomeness for me in this book. I’m guessing that each book focuses on one of the raven boys so that as I keep reading, I’ll fall in love with each of them. MY HEART CAN’T CONTAIN THAT MUCH EMOTION.

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  4. I had the same trouble getting into it, because it was so slow. I remember being really annoyed when Blue actually SAID that she tries extremely hard to be different. I don’t know if I would have seen Blue as the quirky character without her telling me.

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