Book Reviews

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Book Review


“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.

Note: one (1) spoiler, but I feel like everyone has already read this book, so.

WELL WELL WELL. What can I say? I love Adam Parrish. And that is all.

I read this for the first time two years ago, and just…never finished the series. I don’t know why. I loved this book. It lived up to the hype. Everyone kept talking about it. 2016-Erin made weird decisions (I almost spontaneously moved to Italy). Anyway, this book was even better the second time around, and almost everything negative I wrote in my first review I now take back.

So there’s Blue. Her clairvoyant family (although Blue is only clairvoyant-adjacent). Her boys (her raven boys).

Image result for my poncho boys doctor who gif

(Replace ‘poncho’ with ‘raven’, obviously).

As previously insinuated, Adam is still my favourite. I think Adam will always be my favourite. There’s something about him that is so resilient and unapologetically pure and stubborn and I love him. I did like Gansey a bit more this time around, and I think it was helpful reading it twice now because I can see the layers of what makes him human a bit better. Before, he was just an average main character who could do whatever he wanted on the basis of the fact that he was rich (I mean, that’s essentially it). He wasn’t mean or cruel about it, and he didn’t flash his wealth everywhere, he just knew he could do anything with it so there were no obstacles. Which made an interesting dynamic between him and Adam, because Adam’s upbringing is the complete opposite. Adam’s deal wasn’t that Gansey shamed him for being poor, or treated him like charity, but that he just didn’t understand how easy life was because of his privilege. How many gates had been blown way open by the simple matter of wealth. When Adam finally moves out of his house after the incident with his father, he still doesn’t want to move in with his friends. Doing things on his own terms – when his entire life has been subject to someone else’s – is so important to him. I do think that could be more of a problematic thing in future books, but for now, I will happily remain in my blissful bubble where it’s not that big a deal.

I actually liked Ronan a lot this time around, which was pretty surprising. I wasn’t keen on him the first time, because I don’t tend to like angry characters. This time though, I felt a closer connection to him and I could see his background and upbringing a bit more, and how that affected him. I love that their family is Irish. I love all the British Isles parts of this series to begin with, but I love that part of Ronan specifically. I think Chainsaw is going to be a great way to see the progression of his character over the course of the series. As far as Noah goes, I definitely paid more attention to him the second time, and it really paid off. When I first read the book two years ago, because he was so quiet in demeanor I rather looked over him a bit – so when the twist of his real identity was revealed at the end, I was really shocked. Because I knew that the second time, I was able to pick up the clues as to his background a bit more, and the story was so much clearer and understandable. I hate that he was killed by his best friend. I hate that his best friend (initially) got away with it. There is nothing I dislike more than friends harming friends for their own gain, so Barrington Whelk really didn’t sit well with me. I really like the premise of the book though with the search for the ley lines. There’s just something about it that makes it feel so homey, although at this point that could be because I have read it twice now. It’s also something I’m not super familiar with, so it’s like I’m learning at the same time. The only part that is still confusing to me though is the future between Blue and Gansey. I’m less worried that he’s going to die, and more worried that he is her true love instead of Adam, to be completely honest. I don’t know what’s coming regarding that little problem and it is killing me.

I’m so excited to move on in this series. The more I write this review, the more I fall in love with it. I would love to be able to hang out with this rad group of characters. I would love to participate in their search for Glendower. I love how much research has clearly gone into the plot of this story, and I’m super impressed that Maggie has turned another piece of history into something relatable in the 21st century. I can’t wait for the other three books. If you need me, I’ll be reading The Dream Thieves.

Final rating: ★★★★.5

Maggie Stiefvater

Website | FacebookTwitterInstagram | Goodreads

9 thoughts on “The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Book Review”

  1. YES, all my love goes to Adam. He is my favorite, favorite, favorite. I’m so glad you agree❤️ Great review, and I hope you enjoy reading the rest 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I read the first three books of the series and although I LOVE the characters I just don’t find the storyline that intriguing and feel like it drags a lot. I really hope you enjoy the rest of the series though!! I’m also super excited for the TV show adaption to come out, since Maggie herself is involved in the production and writing it’s surely going to be amazing 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s