Review: The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

You know, I love John Green. And even if you don’t love him, well please, just keep on reading because I promise I won’t talk about him for that long. There’s just one quote from his book that reminds me of The Raven Boys, and perfectly sums up my feelings about it: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly, and then all at once.” And this is what happened with The Raven Boys. On the very-hyped books shelf, it is here, standing, staring at me and everyone just screams at me to just READ IT NOW because it’s so good. And I am finally glad I did, because now I can say that I understand, and I can officially know that, yes. That book is weird. And I LOVE weird books like that.

MEET THE PSYCHIC FAMILY

💭

“Fate,” Blue replied, glowering at her mother, “is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast.”

In her slightly strange psychic family full of women, Blue is the only one without the gift of clairvoyance. She only makes things STRONGER, when she stands next to her mother at a tarot reading or everything. But she doesn’t feel, doesn’t see anything abnormal, until one night. She sees a boy. He’s supposed to die in the next year. His name’s Gansey. And my feelings are already ALL over the place. If the beginning of the book was a bit slow, it really took us time to get accustomed to the particular setting and atmosphere of the book. Slightly eerie, fascinating, and completely addictive. A small-town life, yet with a family of psychic and where Maggie Stiefvater manages to make everything, even the slightest simplest words, look like magic. In the matter of a few words, she takes you away with her, to meet her delightful characters you can’t get enough of, and really, into a world of her own.

INCREDIBLY (AND QUITE INCREDIBLE) COMPLEX CHARACTERS

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“There is something really wrong with those boys. When your mother says don’t walk in front of a bus, she has a good reason.”

From the kitchen, Persephone’s soft voice called, “If someone had stopped you from walking in front of a bus, Maura, Blue wouldn’t be here.”

I think I could rant for hours about each and every character of this book, because there would be a LOT to talk about, and this surprises me the most. I’m a huge character lover – as every contemporary lover out there, probably -, and I was scared that, in this kind of fantasy story, characters would be a bit left out for the plot and the intrigue to be on the front stage. Well, that didn’t happen, and that probably explains the slow beginning a bit. Each and every character of this story are three-dimensional and we get to know them deep to their SOUL, to know their desires, wants, needs, complexities and just everything that could make them, and really makes us, human, and real, and three-dimensional. There are multiple POV in this book, but thankfully that didn’t refrain me, at all, on the contrary: I found myself eagerly waiting, for the first time, to EACH and every single POV, because I just loved them all and couldn’t wait to get to their sides of the story and to see a bit more of their feelings, as well. Our main character here, Blue, was so real I wanted to hug her. She was really relatable, in a world where you feel like everything can happen, that’s quite awesome you’ll admit. She’s just so GREAT I couldn’t even begin to describe my love for her. Gansey was incredibly cute and so COMPLEX, really, and the same goes for another character, Adam. Actually, I could describe them all with that word. COMPLEX. Not like a math problem you can’t solve and is making you crazy. Like three-dimensional, motivated and with its own way of thinking complex. Like, REAL.

THE WORLD-BUILDING, AND THE WORDS, ARE MAGIC.

💭

“The key, Gansey found, was that you had to believe that they existed; you had to realized they were part of something bigger. Some secrets only gave themselves up to those who’d proven themselves worthy.”

The whole world and mystery and just, the BOOK Maggie Stievfater created leaves me speechless, really. I’m realizing this is high praise, and do not take my word for it in case you’d be disappointed afterwards. But it’s got everything I’ve been growing to love since I started reading, and more recently, book blogging. It’s a book where you feel like you’re in something real, but in fact, nothing is. It’s just, different. There’s this little sparkle in the story making you believe anything can happen, magic can be real, trees can talk and you can be taken away pretty much anywhere. There’s a huge part of mythology in there as well. There’s a lost king, there are wishes to be granted, and there is a grand quest, all with Maggie Stievfater’s incredible writing style and unique voice, transporting us to another world…and leaving us craving for more magic after we close the last page.

OVERALL

So, okay. I think I fell in love there. If you don’t mind a bit of a slow beginning to get to know all the wonderful characters, if you love fantasy, mystery, a bit of magic here and there, a gorgeous writing style and just to be taken away with your next read, then what are you still doing here? Go read that book now. And please, come fangirl with me afterwards.

Final rating:  It’s a hurricane!

Did you read The Raven Boys? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read it?

Should I buy the sequel right now?! Share your thoughts in comments!


 

Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys,  Published by Scholastic Press, September 18th 2012.

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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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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

83 thoughts on “Review: The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

  1. That’s it, you’ve decided it for me – after my currently reading, it’s this book next! This book seems so very very good, I cannot wait! *sigh* How do you craft your magic so well? You make me want to read EVERYTHING! Wonderfully lovely review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you loved this book! I really enjoyed it when I read it last year too, but I found it a bit hard to get into. I thought is was a little slow to start! I totally agree with you on the characters – they were all so beautifully complex. Blue was my favourite because of how determined she was! I would highly recommend getting the sequel asap. I thought it to be so much better than the first! ❤

    Denise | The Bibliolater

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read it and honestly, I didn’t like it that much. But I continued reading the series and loved it more as the books went. Blue lily, lily blue is my favourite.
    YES BUY THE SEQUEL NOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m starting to feel like I didn’t give this book enough of a chance cause I can’t be the only person who thought it was whatever. I’m only about 15% in on my Kindle, and I put it down a few weeks ago and haven’t been able to get back into it. About what point would you say it picks up? The slow beginning is really the issue for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh well not everyone can like it, that I can understand, don’t worry too much about it! 🙂 I understand your struggle though, I found it very slow at the beginning as well, and really everything picks up about maybe half-way in (I can’t check I don’t have the book right now around, but I will if you’d like, to be more precise). I think if it’s slow, it still allows the characters to grow on you a little bit, at least it did for me. And all the mystery growing and quest and everything magical coming afterwards made it all worth it 🙂 I hope you’ll want to pick it up again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not a fan of her writing style, but I’ve heard that people who do really love the books. And I’m glad it ended up living up to the hype for you! I don’t think I’ll ever end up reading it, but it is a wonderful feeling to have a book meet your expectations

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I read a Maggie Stievfater forever ago and was pretty underwhelmed, so I have mostly ignored the hype about this one. Until now. This review has me wanting to read the book so bad! It sounds so beautiful. I think it might be time to give her another go…

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  7. love your review marie, I fully agree that the book does start off a little slower but her world building is great. I myself found myself very confused at times it’s just a book you have to stick with and pay attention to detail.

    I’ve not moved onto book 2 yet but I definitely want to because I want to here more about Gansey and Blue, my only issue is if I should carve out more time to read it and make sure I have enough time to fully immerse myself in the world again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much, I am so glad you liked it 🙂 I understand, if it was slow, it’s a book you have to completely immerse yourself in, and there were moments I found myself drifting off, because I couldn’t completely focus, I guess. But it was all worth it. I can’t wait for us to read the second book then, hope we’ll both love it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a brilliant review Marie, and I am so so glad you loved this book as well.
    I think the whole series is very largely character driven, and I loved how the relationship between Blue and the Raven Bouys develops throughout, but the story arc is still amazing and I loved the world building as well! Honestly I think the thing to take away is that I have no faults with this series and it is one of my all-time favourites! 😀
    I can’t wait for you to read the second book now, I do think the series just gets better and better as it goes on so hopeully you’ll agree too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and it was definitely a brilliant review! 😀
        Yes the character development of all the characters, even the secondary ones who you don’t think would end up being as important, was brilliant throughout.
        I hope you love the second book. The Dream Thieves is more about Ronan which is why I was really excited to start it, he’s my favourite of the Raven Boys! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Love your review! I started reading The Raven Boys only yesterday, but I immidiately fell in love with the book! I love the friendship between boys and I’m already planning on devouring the rest of the series. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Simone, so glad you liked it! 🙂 I love the friendships as well, they are all so different yet complete each other. I love their endless banter as well ahah. Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂
      (and your blog link doesn’t work, dreamfullthoughts, in case you didn’t know 🙂 )

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  10. Great review, Marie! I’m SO GLAD you ended up loving it – I agree with a lot of the things you said: the characters were complex, the world-building was solid, and the story felt eerie to me. Are you going to be picking up the next book soon? I hope you like that one too!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Awe, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of time!!! My birthday is on August 3rd, but I like to provide my family with a list of things that I would like to get. That way they can choose whatever fits their budget and I don’t know for sure what I will get. (But I was pretty adamant on the Raven Cycle hahaha)

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  11. Loved your review! I’m so happy you fell in love with this book too ❤ The author managed to transport me AND make me fall for guys, which I almost never do in books. Her writing is magical.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, you certainly have made a great case for this book. It does sound amazing.! You aren’t the only one to gush about this book and recommend it feverishly. Haha.
    The next fantasy book I’m gong to read is A Darker Shade of Magic, sometime this summer. After I’m done with it I will consider The Raven Boys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much Naz, so happy you liked my review! I can’t believe I am now one of these people recommending that book haha, but well, it’s really worth a read. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂 And yay for A Darker Shade of Magic! I found the beginning a bit slow, but loved the world-building. Can’t wait to see how you like it! 🙂

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  13. I love Maggie Stiefvater. I started with Shiver and instantly fell in love with her style. Two years ago I drove several hours to see her stand upon a fold-out table, in her tattered jeans and combat boots, to tell stories about strange nicknames and a college band. Maggie is wonderful, and I have never been disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

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