The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys

Book rating: 04 Hardback Raven Cycle

By (author) Maggie Stiefvater

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  • Publisher: Scholastic US
  • Format: Hardback | 409 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 211mm x 38mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 1 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0545424925
  • ISBN 13: 9780545424929
  • Sales rank: 8,898

Product description

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.

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Author information

Maggie Stiefvater is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Shiver, Linger, Forever, and The Scorpio Races. She is also the author of Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception and Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children. You can visit her online at www.maggiestiefvater.com.

Customer reviews

By Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books) 26 Jul 2014 4

I've had my eyes on The Raven Boys for quite some time because of all of the positive reviews. I decided to wait a bit for a few reasons--maybe expectations would be on par instead of reading right when hype is high, and also, I just haven't had time in my reading schedule.

I connected with Blue right away. I liked her voice and I could relate with feeling on the outside even if my feelings have nothing to do with the paranormal. Hers is because she hasn't been able to see ghosts or have any intuition for the supernatural world, she only amplifies that of her family. Speaking of they are so eclectic and fun to read about. It had to be hard for Blue as well because a premonition has followed her for her whole life-- that the boy she kissed/fell in love with would die. I mean talk about a dating downer and how you view yourself.

When it came to the Raven Boys, it took me longer to get a sense of their separate personalities and how they played into the story. Gansey is the boy that Blue saw, so it seems that I would gravitate to him, but he seems to have a split personality and I had a hard time with his ups and downs and acting so differently. I was more drawn to Adam personally.

I was pretty confused at times, and I know that some is probably on purpose, and honestly I would skim a bit, since I was intimidated by the size to start with. It had that feeling that everything was slowly setting up, and honestly I am surprised that I stuck with it since I had issues that I didn't really get inside the head of and feel for the guys as separate characters but also how they work together. But I liked Blue and I liked the mystical feel to it, and wanted to know how it would play out for Blue and Gansey.

But there was something about it, even with my gripes that I just couldn't put it down and I had to know what would happen. As the story went on I was able to finally get a grasp on some of the raven boys, but Adam continued to be my favorite.

There were so many twists, and changed what I thought of the different characters and the roles they played. Some of the character's actions really surprised me as well as the whole thread of her first kiss and who I thought and who I wanted it to be. I will be continuing the series, and glad I gave it a chance.


Bottom Line: Slow set-up but loved Blue, one of the main characters, and the mystical tone

By Brenna Staats 02 May 2014 5

There are some books I manage to put off for a while, despite their popularity and good reviews. The Raven Boys is one of those, and now having finally read it I can't help but kick myself for waiting so long.

Paranormal fantasy books aren't my favourite, but the first book in Maggie Stiefvater's current series easily drew me in and hooked me with its quirky yet amusing characters, mysterious plot, and Maggie's beautiful style of writing.

Reasons to Read:

1. An incredible group of characters:

The characters are all very eccentric and quirky (and they really don't seem THAT realistic, or perhaps I should say "typical" for teenagers) and I find that can be fairly hit or miss for a book. I don't mind different, but I need interesting, strong characters whom I like to keep me going. The Raven Boys absolutely delivered on this, and I was so impressed with Blue and the Raven Boys she meets and befriends. Gansey's written as a charismatic leader and that's exactly how he comes across while reading. I couldn't help but like him, the more that was revealed about him. Adam's bravery comes across loud and clear as he battles his way through difficulties. Even grumpy, icy Ronan and quiet, strange Noah had me invested in their stories by the end. Most importantly, they felt like characters distinct from each other - although they're close friends, they maintained their own lives and interests.

2. An intriguing mystery:

For the longest time, I was reading as fast as I could just to figure out exactly what the big mystery was - what was Gansey searching for? What was going on with Blue's family? What secrets do the Raven Boys have? It's all revealed very slowly, and I loved how much this mystery drew me in to this fantastic story.

3. Gorgeous writing:

This is the first book I've read by Maggie Stiefvater and her writing took my breath away! The book's atmosphere is creepy and mysterious, and it's enhanced by her style of writing. It's like being teased with a little bit of information - there are little hints and it's very poetic. Her writing flows beautifully for an enjoyable read.

4. Heartfelt, sincere relationships:

This was my favourite aspect of The Raven Boys. I loved how strong these relationships were, from the deep bond of friendship between Gansey, Ronan, Noah, and Adam to the fairly tight-knit household Blue lives in. I was particularly impressed with the mother-daughter relationship between Blue and Maura. This is an intensely loyal group of characters, all displaying that loyalty in their own unique way.

I was worried that I'd find some parts of this book to feel like it was trying too hard - afraid that it might come off cheesy and silly, because there's that fine line between unique and just plain silly. But thankfully, The Raven Boys didn't cross that line. It was a very unexpected read for me (especially the romance, for example!), and one I can wholeheartedly recommend to other readers.

Review copy received from Scholastic Canada for review; no other compensation was received.

By Sarah Elizabeth 03 Jul 2013 3

(Source: I won a hardback copy of this book. Thanks to Sandra at Waiting for Wentworth.)
16-year-old Blue's future love life does not look good, mainly because every psychic that has ever come across her has told her that if she kisses her true love, she will kill him.
Standing at a church on St Mark's Day with her aunt, waiting for the spirits of the soon-to-be-dead to walk past, she sees a spirit - which is unusual for Blue, as she is not psychic. The spirit tells her that his name is Gansey, and then disappears.

When Blue later meets Gansey, she discovers that he is a high school student investigating ley-lines, and is trying to re-open them around the area where Blue lives. Blue decides to help him and become part of his team, but she's not prepared for what they are about to discover.
What is the secret of the ley-lines? How do they open these magical pathways? And what is Gansey's end goal?


This was a very strange story, and the pacing seemed very slow.

Having read this I'm wondering if I've missed some intricacies to the plot or something, or maybe we'll get more explanation in the next book, because for a 409 page book, not a lot really happened.

Blue seemed like a fairly normal girl, other than her name and the fact that she lived with a bunch of psychics. Blue wasn't a psychic herself, but instead had a gift that allowed her to magnify power somehow, making her a very useful tool for both her psychic relations, and spirits.
Blue was pretty down to earth all things considered, and didn't immediately fall all over herself to help Gansey and his crew. She didn't whine, she wasn't always seeking attention, and she didn't think that everything was about her either. She generally just tried to help, and knew her own limits which was nice to see.
Gansey on the other hand was absolutely obsessed with these 'ley-lines' and seeming would let very little get in his way of opening them, and allowing them to lead him to this legendary king that he was so sure he was supposed to find and awaken.

The storyline in this book was quite odd. I'm not sure I've ever read anything like this. I have to say that I found the whole thing very strange, especially in the beginning, and I'm really not sure what else to expect from this series. Basically, Gansey is trying to open these magical ley-lines, to find this legendary king, and awaken him. Fair enough, but I'm not sure how this is going to take so many books. Having read over 400 pages of this one, I can't really say that that much has happened. The pacing just feels really slow, and I really expected us to have discovered more than we have in this first book. It's been a while since I read a book by this author so I can't remember if her other books were this slow (I think they might have been), but the pacing in this just made me feel that nothing was happening which was really frustrating.
Otherwise the plot was okay, but I thought more could have been made of Blue's prophecy that she would kill her true love with a kiss. We did find out very early on that Gansey might be Blue's true love, but very little happens with regard to this, and so we are very much left hanging on this front.
I thought the ending to this book was okay, but again, I feel like so little happened in this book, that it was more like reading part 1 of a book rather than book 1 of a series.
Having finished this I'd say that it's okay, but I'd be pushed to say more than that. I have very lukewarm feelings towards the sequel, because although I want to know what happens, it seems like a lot of effort for little reward.
Overall; an okay YA fantasy, with a very slow pace.
6.75 out of 10.

By Sarah 12 Sep 2012 4

Blue has always know she would kill her true love.


Blue's family is full of psychics, her mother, aunt. Expect for her, she is a non-seer, Blue's power is to amplify energy. But when they visit the church graveyard, they have been doing this every year on St. Mark's Eve. The only thing different about this year is Blue sees someone. A boy from the local private school. All they get from him is his name, Gansey.


It took me a long time to get into the book, the beginning of the book was confusing and I kept getting distracted. But after I got into the book it was incredible!


The characters, all of them, were great, I loved Gansey, and his friends.


I'm ready for book number two!


Thank you Scholastics and NetGally for this ARC.

Review quote

"A flirtier kind of horror-fantasy, aimed at teens clutching tattered Twilight and Sandman paperbacks....Stiefvater's quirky prose has ample nerdy pleasures." -" TIME" Magazine "A well-paced, neo-Gothic thriller...Stiefvater, who has an assured and entertaining way with language, doesn't talk down to her readers, and she ably blends the mystical and the earthly, the primitive and the contemporary in a way that brings to mind the work of John Belairs, J.K Rowling, Lois Duncan, and Stephenie Meyer." - "New York Times Book Review" Praise for The Scorpio Races: * "Masterful. Like nothing else out there now." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "An utterly compelling read." - Publishers Weekly, starred review * "Filling it with loving descriptions of wet, wind-tossed Thisby as well as exciting equine action, Stiefvater has created a thrilling backdrop for the love story that blooms...A book appealing to lovers of fantasy, horse stories, romance, and actionadventure alike, this seems to have a shot at being a YA blockbuster." - School Library Journal, starred review Praise for the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver trilogy: * "A lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love....Stiefvater skillfully increases the tension throughout; her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face." - Publishers Weekly, starred review "Readers will be able to enjoy Stiefvater's fast-paced storytelling and dedication to the old-fashioned art of creating a believable and enduring romance. Shiver is beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages." - Bookpage.com "This riveting narrative, impossible to put down, is not only an excellent addition to the current fangs and fur craze, but is also a beautifully written r