Monday, 23 February 2015

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

book cover

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 454

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Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.

Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

I’ve seen all the love for The Raven Cycle, and it sounded like a series I would absolutely adore. I really enjoyed The Raven Boys, but I think my really high expectations took over a bit too much, and it didn’t quite live up to my hopes. I felt a little underwhelmed, and I think it’s because I didn’t fully connect with Blue and the other characters quick enough.

There is a lot going on throughout the story and I didn’t feel lost or uncertain at any stage. I think it was the lack of connection, particularly with the characters that really hindered me from loving what occurred. I really liked Maggie’s writing style, but I will admit that it took me a while to settle in. The beginning has a lot of POV switches, and I felt it kept me a bit too distant from each character, and I didn’t really get a grip on their personalities and what relationship they have with each other until much later on. Once all the characters were established and I became familiar with them, I began connecting with the story. I’m glad things turned around, though, as I really enjoyed the second half and the ending!

My biggest stumbling block was Blue, Adam and Gansey. I didn’t feel any connection between Blue and Gansey, and I’m a bit confused why Adam is involved at all! It’s hard to shake off my initial impressions, but I did grow to like them more as the story progressed. I’m not really invested in the Blue/Gansey will-they-won’t-they-kiss-and-as-a-result-kill-Gansey plot line. I ended up liking Blue by the end of the book, but Gansey never grew on me at all. Honestly, I thought he was a bit of a goody-two-shoes pain in the arse. (Please don’t kill me!!) He means well, but he insults and looks down on everyone else, and it grates on my nerves. And it’s not like the other characters haven’t called him out on this! He’s aware, yet still does it. Best intentions are admirable, but actions are what are remembered. Maybe I’m a bit cruel, vindictive and heartless, but I’d probably kiss him just to see if he really would die… but that’s just me! I’m MUCH more interested in Ronan. I love complex characters, and he fits the bill perfectly. Actually, I preferred both Ronan and Noah over the others. Their characters fascinated me, and I loved how distinct and unique they were.

The ending though, oooh I loved it! What a cruel yet awesome way to end a book! I need to know what happens next! I did take me a while to get into this story, but I’m really glad I stuck with it. I ended up really enjoying it, and I’m looking forward to reading the second book!


  1. It's really interesting to see a review for this book that's less-than-glowing! Like you, I've seen nothing but praise!! I probably would have had a hard time too though. I tend to dislike multiple POV books. And it sounds like Gansey would have grated on my nerves... Great review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  2. Great review. It's kind of nice to see a review that isn't gushing about this book. I've put off reading it because I was so worried that my high expectations would mean I'd be left disappointing. You've made me a little less nervous to start it now. Even though you didn't love it as much as everyone else, at least you still enjoyed it.

  3. I'm a fan of the series, but I am in full agreement with you about Adam - he often comes across as a bit of a fifth(?) wheel. He is important in the bigger picture I suppose, but I still don't like him as a character. If you're a Ronan fan, you should get on and read THE DREAM THIEVES. Trust me.



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