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The Raven Cycle #1

The Raven Boys

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“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.

409 pages, Hardcover

First published September 18, 2012

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About the author

Maggie Stiefvater

81 books168k followers
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

Maggie Stiefvater plays several musical instruments (most infamously, the bagpipes) and makes art in several media (most generally, colored pencils).

She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, their two children, many dogs, a bunch of fainting goats, and a mating pair of growly tuner cars.

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Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.5k followers
September 14, 2023

There are psychics and ghosts and very human characters and boys in private-school uniforms and ravens and magical places and sentient trees. There’s magic and a badass girl and my new favorite boy and Latin and a refurbished warehouse that makes for a very scholar-cute apartment and Welsh mythology and a pizza restaurant.


In short, sososososo many things I am always thrilled to see. Every time a ghost or a psychic or a well-described setting - or, okay, yes, a pizza restaurant - shows up in anything I read it’s an absolute pleasure.

But I haven’t even gotten to the best part.

The most miraculous of all these magically miraculous miracles? THERE’S BARELY ANY ANGST OR ROMANCE.

Yes, there’s a decent amount by most standards, but amongst YA it doesn’t even rank!

(Which is why it’s just so confusing to see the top review of this book lamenting its status as just-another-paranormal-romance. I hate paranormal romance. This isn’t that.) (Okay, Goodreads is telling me this is categorized as both “Fantasy > Paranormal” and “Romance,” so I guess it is that. But it doesn’t feel that way at all.) (Did I skip past roughly 100 collective pages of arm-brushing and gooey looks and that middle school phenomenon wherein the absolute prime flirting strategy is stealing a boy’s hat? Because I would never in a million years categorize this as a romance.)

But I will force myself to digress.

I’m going to give a teeny lil synopsis of this book for y'all who somehow managed to not know about it, but I went in blind and had a good time and I say it’s good to do that. If you feel like it.

Lil synopsis: There is Blue, who comes from a household of all women who are all psychic; she is the exception to the latter, but she amplifies other people’s power. There is also Gansey (insert one THOUSAND heart-eyes emojis here), who is searching for a thing called the “ley line,” essentially a magical place. Gansey has friends! Adam, who is on scholarship and who has a cruuuush on Blue; Ronan, who is an asshole with a dead dad; and Noah, who is small and cute. Blue, who cannot see ghosts, sees Gansey’s ghost, which means that he’s going to die soon and that she’s either his love or his killer. Oh wait also, if Blue kisses her true wuv then the kiss-ee dies. So those two scenarios are not exactly mutually exclusive.

End synopsis.

I have a few small complaints about this book to get out of the way before we can fangirl more about it. (This is a four-star review, after all, so I really don’t know what you expected. I’m not one of those illogical psychos who rates a book anything other than five stars while screaming “ABSOLUTELY PERFECT I LOVED IT” through a megaphone.)

Complaint numéro un: I don’t like Ronan. And I don’t get why people can after just this book.

There’s nothing?? To him?? He’s just mean and tragic. Like, you know, every other YA male ever. This is quickly becoming one of my least favorite tropes. Quickly typing “total d*ck, but handsome and damaged” as a character description just does not do it for me.

I’m semi-open to the idea of appreciating Ronan in future books, because this book has done well in both conforming to and subverting other clichés, but I’m not excited about his character at all.

(GANSEY, ON THE OTHER HAND, I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT. But I have a liiiiiittle more complaining to do first.)

Complaint numéro deux: I am very worried that Maggie Stiefvater may hate other women.

I read Shiver (and maybe its sequel?) long ago, and it wasn’t exactly feminist central. And this book manages to hate on girls in a way that is both subtle and jarring. From the basic fact that Blue is the only girl worthy of entry into the exclusive club of Gansey/Ronan/Adam/Noah, to the frequent references to the interchangeability of Declan’s blonde girlfriends, it was really unsettling. Because I so badly wanted to like this!!

Also, can I just say: as a blonde teenage girl, I AM SO F*CKING SICK OF OUR YOUNG ADULT REPRESENTATION. It’s like you can’t have light hair and be under twenty and exist in a book without being utterly vapid. Can you just please be nice to girls. Guh.

So that’s a big complaint.

Some smaller issues I had: This book had to grow on me. The pacing was weird. I liked the language but sometimes the sentences were slightly wrong, which, again, subtle but jarring. Sometimes choppy or abrupt.

Except #2, these negatives could go away relatively easily in the other books, AND THEN I CAN GIVE FIVE STARS. Yay! I want to do that so badly. But goddamn I am extraordinarily worried about that second one.


I’ve said this pretentious jargon before, and I will here say it again: young adult stuff is very rarely remarkable in style. Occupational hazard, I guess. This is probably a good thing, because it doesn’t distract from any plot-centric narrative and because not everyone likes metaphorical language. Just look at all the people who wrongly didn’t care for I’ll Give You the Sun.

BUT I LOVE LYRICAL WRITING AND I LOVED THIS AND STIEFVATER’S WORDS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. I’m pretty tempted to read everything she’s ever written now. (If the girl-hate lets up, that is. Goddamn.)

This also could have REALLY easily been dumb. Like, Blue whining about wanting to kiss a cute boy, which would have made me want to scream at her that a steamy makeout sesh with a private school kid does not exactly equate to the value of a human life. But she never questions or even laments it, really. She’s just like, Nah.


Noah was really flat for about three-quarters of this book, but then he is the cutest smallest thing and I love him.


I love Gansey sosososo much. I don’t know if I’m not supposed to, or if he’ll turn suck-y or whatever. (I feel like it’s one of the two, because the reviews I’ve skimmed have been Adam fangirl-y or Ronan fangirl-y, but I haven’t seen any Gansey love.)

Gansey is so charming and such a great friend and he CARES ABOUT PEOPLE SO MUCH. Also he owns a renovated warehouse that is said to look like it’s occupied by a crazed scholar or a mad scientist, and he carries a massive journal detailing his journey to find magic, and in that amazing building he OWNS, there’s a cardboard recreation of the town.

And he’s rich as hell. (Even in fictional boyfriends I am practical.)

I’m in love, you guys. It’ll be an autumn wedding.


I feel like Adam is the most human of the characters. He’s flawed more realistically. I like him.

This book was just so fascinating and unique and great. Avoids a lot of the pitfalls of young adult books that make me hate them. UNFORTUNATELY, it still checked the vaguely-sexist box.

I hope the next book is even better.

(I’m already reading it.)

Bottom line: Everyone should definitely give this book a try. It totally won’t be for everyone especially blonde girls named Ashley, but it’s sooooo-ooooooo-ooooooo outside of the YA box.

Hurray for fantasy series with potential!

rereading updates

(Sweet Caroline voice) so good! so good! so good!

rereading updates again

no better way to spend Halloween than rereading this book



review to come

currently-reading updates

Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 10, 2020
Stuck at home? Got some time on your hands? Want to start a long series? But you don't want a dud?

Check out this booktube video - all about which series are worth your time (and which ones aren't)!

Check Out the Written Review!

She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.
You know that feeling when a book is so perfect that you just want to shove it down everyone's throat?

Ok. Good. I thought I was the only one.
I adored this book. I've already read this series twice and am itching to go through them again.

So, begs the question, what is this book about? And that's where I start to stumble.

There's just too much, I could never adequately describe it in under an hour - every little detail is essential.
Blue had two rules: Stay away from boys, because they're trouble, and stay away from raven boys, because they were bastards.
Blue is the only normal girl in a family of psychics.

Gansey is on a quest to find the long-lost Welsh King.

Ronan came out a harsher, crueler version of himself after his father died and is struggling to keep his head above water.

Adam fights to stay at top of his class despite being in the throws of poverty.

Noah is an absolutely magnificent ray of sunshine on a cloudless day.

It's a love story. BUT the love isn't your typical romantic ooey-gooey teen romance. It isn't that end-all be-all ROLL MY EYESkind of love.

Yess, there is some ooey-gooey-ness but that develops slowly - not in the 'ugh, this is taking too long', but the kind that has you clutching the book, silently savoring the build and secretly wishing it could last forever.

Plus, there's the spot-on humor.
"You missed World Hist."
“Did you get notes for me?"
"No", Ronan replied,"I thought you were dead in a ditch.”
and this
Blue tried not to look at Gansey's boat shoes; she felt better about him as a person if she pretended he wasn't wearing them.
and this!
Adam asked, “What is he doing, anyway?”
“Trust Lynch to deface a place like this five minutes after getting here.”
“Deface? Marking his territory.”
“He must own more of Virginia than your father, then.”
“I don’t think he’s ever used an indoor toilet, now that I consider it.”
Honestly, if anyone asks me what to read next...

Seriously! I could not recommend this more.

Audiobook Comments
Probably the best audiobooks I've ever heard. Each characters has a speaking voice, an inside-their-heads-voice and as they get scared, nervous, etc their tone will change, sometimes picking up a suppressed accent or clipping their words subtly. This reader is a master.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
September 22, 2014
Quirky loner girl meets privileged rich boy(s). Forbidden love and angst ensue.

I seem to have this habit. For the past couple of years, I've mostly been deliberately avoiding paranormal YA from authors I don't already love. The genre is a hard sell for me, filled with tropes that lead to low ratings and irritated reviews. But really, what tends to happen is this: the first book comes out and I avoid it, look the other way as other bloggers get excited and fangirl over the upcoming sequel.

Then the next book appears and more positive reviews roll in and, I admit, I start to get curious. But I ignore it. Then the third and often final book is about to be released and everyone is so damn enthusiastic that I... just... have to... check the series out. Yes, I am a fool. I am that cliche about the cat and curiosity.

It's sad because I love a good paranormal tale, but I don't know if I'm just getting too old and cynical to read these supernatural romancey teen books. Either that or I've read one too many. Because I am honestly not sold on the big dilemma in this book.

If Blue and Gansey kiss: he dies.
If Blue and Gansey don't kiss: he lives.

...um, I’m not really seeing a difficult decision to be made here. The only thing I'm seeing is a whole lot of melodrama and names that make the characters sound like horses.

I know, I know, TRU WUV and all that, I am so cold. Well, forgive me if I’m not caught up in this emo love angst, but could you please get over yourselves, choose life, and go find someone else. But no, of course not, because this book is largely about the will they/won’t they, which is also likely what the following novels are about too.

There is some good writing at points and a decent ghostly atmosphere; though I'm still not convinced two stars isn't leaning towards generous. The complex plot that has been so praised by critics and bloggers just bored the hell out of me. I guess it's imaginative in some sense and I haven't heard anything quite like it before - props for that - but it was soooo slow. And it seemed to take forever for the author to reveal WHY the Raven Boys were searching for some Welsh king, so I had no reason to invest in their mission.
“She wondered what it would’ve been like to kiss this hungry, desolate boy.”

And yes, then we have Mr and Mrs Angst. The usual relationship/love drama aside, I found it so difficult to like these characters. I have a hard time finding sympathy for a rich white boy with his own apartment and vintage car (at seventeen!), who wants to kiss a girl but can't. Blue isn't much better... overly quirky outcast - i.e. SPESHUL - who makes her own clothes and judges people she doesn't know.

I kind of despise them both.

But it's my fault. I knew it was a bad idea. I suck. Please don't hate me, I brought a cat gif:

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Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
October 1, 2019

Reread in 2017:
I loved it so much more the second time! Every character was unique and fleshed out and I fell in love with them all! Well, most of them. Can't wait to pick up The Dream Thieves!

Book 34/100 of 2015:
I really enjoyed this! I came into this book not knowing anything about the plot, just that there were some weirdly named kids and something about ravens. It was a little difficult to get into as I had no idea where the plot would go and it was just overall pretty slow. However, halfway through it really picked up and surprised me! I will definitely be picking up the next book sometime in the near future.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
November 4, 2017
i'm so glad i re-read this before carrying on with the series! there were so many things that i had forgotten. SO MANY IMPORTANT THINGS. plus it was fun to re-read, because of all the foreshadowing. SO MCUH FORESHADOWING I TELL YA. i'm reading the series as apart of the missmareadalong & there is still time to join in if you want to read the raven cycle this month!! more info here: https://youtu.be/43yx_rDnNIc plus there are lots of GIVEAWAAAAYS happening! more info for that here: https://youtu.be/KOMi6lHEV7o
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews156k followers
January 10, 2023
re-visiting this book for the first time since high school was a profoundly nourishing joyful perfect experience. every page has aged like fine wine. I didn’t understand what this book was doing to me at 17, or how it was doing it to me, but now that I’ve absorbed all of it like a wide-eyed sponge, my old inarticulate enjoyment of the story has been sublimated into a renewed deep appreciation for Stiefvater’s craft.

(Full review to come later this month when I finish my re-read of the whole series!)
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,195 followers
September 17, 2021
I've never read something quite like this. I loved how Blue talks with her mom, how Gansey is protective towards the boys, how Noah pats Blue's hair, how Ronan takes care of Chainsaw, how Adam talks to Blue. This book is the definition of found-family trope.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,951 followers
September 15, 2019
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US 9/14/19

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


I absolutely loved this book! But, here's the thing, I didn't know what was going on through half of the book and I'm still a little up in the air with what all they were doing. I just know that I FREAKING LOVED IT AND CAN'T WAIT FOR MORE!



Okay so there are these four rich boys that go to the rich school, Aglionby. They are the main characters. We have Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah, they are called the raven boys and I forgot while. OMG! <----

Blue is a sweet girl that goes to a regular school and lives in a house with her mom, here mom's two best friends, Persephone and Calla.. they tell fortunes. There is also from time to time a bunch of aunts and what not filling up the house. I totally love them! All of the women in Blue's family can see things, but she can't. Blue is like a conduit that helps them pick up things, she like draws energy in.

Every year at St. Mark's Day, they go to the graveyard and Blue helps her mom or whoever goes with her to talk to the dead. People that haven't died yet. For the first time Blue sees a boy and that means he is going to die. It's one of the Raven Boy's!

This story is cray cray and I'm probably not explaining it well but only the other nuts like me will get it! :-D

So like the Gansey boy is obsessed with ley lines and this dude named Glendower.

The Raven was Glendower's bird. The Raven King, he was called, from a long line of kings associated with the bird. Legend had it that Glendower could speak to ravens, and vice versa. It was only one of the reasons why Gansey was here in Henrietta, a town known for its ravens.

Then all of this crazy town stuff starts happening. And Blue is a part of the Raven boys now and they get into all kinds of stuff that I won't even say because I know there are more people out there like me that hasn't started reading these books yet.

I find it strange that I could love a book so much that I found confusing at times. But it was just so damn good! So who cares!! I hope anyone that hasn't read this yet, gives it a try. If you like it - great - if you don't - that's great too!


I look forward to the rest of the series!
Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
June 5, 2020
Update 2020:
With my local library closed down, I’m stuck with the books on my bookshelf so I opted to reread my favorites. And it just hit me that I reread this book on April 24th aka the date that set off the gangsey! Coincidence? I think not.

There’s nothing quite like returning to the first book in a series to discover the neatly laid path of easter eggs that will come to resurface in the books to follow in the series.
The scene that hit me most was with the hollowed-out vision tree where Blue foresees her kiss with Gansey. I just recalled reading that for the first time wondering if it would be mirrored in the finale. How tragically beautiful that it was.

Also, how has it been four whole years since I reread this series. That seems impossible when I remember so vividly opening the first book waiting to be impressed. Oh, how I was. My original review below says it all:

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

This review contains *spoilers*.

I went into this book expecting to hate it, but I was truly surprised by it— right from page 1.
I read the prologue before I went to bed and I had to convince myself to put it down because I knew if I wouldn’t, I’d be extremely sleep deprived the next morning. It was so good.
And it was constantly on my mind the next morning, I kept thinking about that fateful moment when I could just sit down and read it.
I finished The Raven Boys in 2 sittings (although reading it at night was extremely scary for me).

This book follows the events of Blue Sargent. Every year, Blue 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.

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love,” Neeve said, “or you killed him.”


“It wasn’t a night for her ordinary eyes. It was a night for seers and psychics, witches and mediums.”
“In other words, the rest of her family."

I loved Blue’s family. They captured my attention in the prologue and were the reason that I had to finish this book.
I was so intrigued by them, they reminded me of my favorite family in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.
I love it when I find books with families similar to The Strange and Beautiful family.
There are also no words that can describe how much I appreciated Blue’s mother, Maura.

“The predictions that came out of 300 Fox Way were unspecific, but undeniably true. Her mother had dreamt Blue’s broken wrist on the first day of school. Her aunt Jimi predicted Maura’s tax return to within ten dollars. Her older cousin Orla always began to hum her favorite song a few minutes before it came on the radio.”


This book is mainly told from the perspectives of Gansey and Blue.
Gansey is on a quest that has encompassed three of his closest friends: 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.

I love books where we get multiple main characters.
But it took me a few chapters to get used to Gansey’s voice. His chapters felt a little slow-paced compared to Blue’s.
Initially, the only thing that made his chapters more interesting was when Ronan showed up. I found his character to be a lot more compelling than Gansey’s. I really cared for Ronan (especially when he took care of his raven, Chainsaw)

“What’s her name?” Blue asked. Holding her was frightening and lovely; she was such a small, tenuous little life, her pulse tapping rapidly against Blue’s skin.
Adam answered witheringly, “Chainsaw.”
The raven opened her beak wide, goggling even more than before.
“She wants you again,” Blue said, because it was clear that she did. Ronan accepted the bird and stroked the feathers on the back of her head.
“You look like a super villain with your familiar,” Adam said
Ronan’s smile cut his face, but he looked kinder than Blue had ever seen him, like the raven in his hand was his heart, finally laid bare.”


But the more I got into the story, the more my love for the characters grew. They all added something so heartbreaking to the story.
The only time I remember really smiling (instead of crying) was when Gansey and Blue interacted with each other, they were so comfortable with one another and incredibly funny. I loved them.

“Sorry that I���m late,” said the boy in front, with the square shoulders. The scent of mint rolled in with him, just as it had in the churchyard. “Will it be a problem?”
Blue knew that voice.
She reached for the railing of the stairs to keep her balance as President Cell Phone stepped into the hallway.
Oh no. Not him. All this time she’d been wondering how Gansey might die and it turned out she was going to strangle him.”

Blue was a great protagonist, she is one of the most unique females I've ever read. She is vulnerable but tough. She is clever but has moments of doubt. And her relationships with her family is heartwarming, especially with her mother.

“Blue could’ve happily had any number of friends. And she had tried. But the problem with being weird was that everyone else was normal.
So her family remained her closest friends, school remained a chore, and Blue remained secretly hopeful that, somewhere out there in the world, there were other odd people like her. Even if they didn’t seem to be in Henrietta.”

And Adam Parrish broke a little piece of my heart.
I was crying when I found out why Adam didn’t show up at school the morning after Gansey called him at midnight about Ronan being missing.
And when Gansey came to check on Adam, I was just in tears. I was so emotional. That part hit too close to home.
I had to put down the book for a few minutes just to try and calm down.

(Trigger Warning: Domestic Abuse)
“The ripped knees of Adam’s camo cargo pants appeared first, then his faded Coca-Cola T-shirt, then, finally, his face.
A bruise spread over his cheekbone, red and swelling as a galaxy. A darker one snaked over the bridge of his nose.
Gansey said immediately, “You’re leaving with me.”
“It will only make it worse when I come back,” Adam told him.”


But towards the end when Adam was confronted by his hideous father, and Ronan came to save Adam— there were tears just streaming down my face (I was so thankful that I was home alone).
I love Ronan. And I’m so emotional.

“His father bellowed something else at him, but it was into his left ear, and there was nothing but a roar on that side.
“Do not ignore me,” his father growled. And then, inexplicably, he turned his head from Adam, and he shouted, “What do you want?”
“To do this,” Ronan Lynch snarled, smashing his fist into the side of Robert Parrish’s face. Beyond him, the BMW sat, the driver’s side door hanging open, headlights illuminating clouds of dust in the darkness.”

Ronan's reply broke me.


The Raven Boys was definitely a book that astonished me with its beautiful writing style, memorable cast of characters, and complete uniqueness.
I love books that can surprise me with how good and eccentric they are.

Also, this song really fit the mood of the book for me.

4.5 stars

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Raven Boys, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
August 17, 2018
“You're looking for a god. Didn't you suspect that there was also a devil?”

Instant new favorite!!

Psychics. Ghosts. Spirits. Sleeping kings. Legends. Enchanted forests. And a cursed romance. Maggie Stiefvater is an artist, ladies and gentlemen!

“Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.”

I was spellbound by this hauntingly beautiful paranormal tale since that very first sentence. Maggie Stiefvater narrates the story of how Blue Sargent met four strange boys, four boys she'd never expected she'd like or trust, but somehow she was caught in the middle of Richard Gansey's treasure hunt and she was the catalyst of every event that unfolded afterwards. Blue, Adam, Gansey, Ronan, Noah, they all had their fair share of secrets and pain, but only together they can unravel the mystery that cloaks their little town, from murders to paranormal activity and coincidences that are not coincidences. And Blue has to be careful, very careful, or else if she finds her true love in the face of one of the Raven Boys, she will cause his death. With one kiss.
“She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

I wanted to read The Raven Boys for a while, but I was a little intimidated by the hype that surrounds this series. But it deserves it. While I've crossed paths with Maggie Stiefvater's books before, The Raven Boys took me by surprise. The foreboding, the hypnotizing and at times eerie ambience, the riveting plotline and the poetic writing, there was a sweet melancholy that settled in my heart and enchanted me. I could picture everything in blue, green and grey. The paranormal element was strong and gave me goosebumps, the characters' backrounds misty, and I couldn't help but inhale every word and feel the physical need to be part of the story, to join Blue and the Raven Boys in their adventures!
“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

While all the characters were fascinating, I felt a little detached when I read Blue's chapters, because she was mostly sensible and I didn't receive many emotions from her part. Surprisingly I didn't mind, her narrative was always interesting and I am positive I will establish a connection with her in the later installments! The boys though, well, they're a completely different story. Noah was the invinsible one, the shy and awkward boy who didn't speak that much, who was hurt and losing himself and I wanted to hug him and make everything alright for him. Ronan was cruel, rude, sarcastic and grumpy, but he had a caring side and he was so alluring, I wanted to know his secrets and the source of his pain, he was my second favorite character! Adam,well, I still haven't made up my mind about him. He was silent, always observing and calculating, he didn't deserve this life and all the burdens he had to carry, but I think he was unfair towards Gansey. Sometimes I thought the only reason he sticked around was the treasure hunt. I understand he had principles and didn't like charities, but he made himself feel inferior, not Gansey. He kept complaining that he couldn't understand him, because he was born privileged, but when did Adam try to understand Gansey?
“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”

Needless to say, Richard Campbell Gansey III was my favorite. Yes he could be condescending or ignorant, but his heart was made of gold, he could be wise beyond his years, he acted and spoke like an old man and was so, so passionate about his goal. He usually wore a façade that hid his inner depth, but one you glimpsed beneath his armor you couldn't help but love him! And for reasons unknown, I kept imagining him with an english accent. Admit it, it suits him perfectly!

I won't talk about the romance because my ship has not sailed yet, but I think the foundations were set and I'm excited to witness Blue falling in love with the person she least expected!

The Raven Boys added a new heart to their collection, a heart I willingly gave up! Oustanding job Maggie Stiefvater, you earned a new loyal fan!

Profile Image for Lala BooksandLala.
500 reviews63.9k followers
May 2, 2022
This is favourite series of all time. I can't even write a review about it, I would just end up copying the entire novel down verbatim and saying, "This is my favourite part. And this part. And that part. And that quote and these characters and all of it and everything forever and always."
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
November 20, 2020
“Watch for the devil. When there’s a god, there’s always a legion of devils.”

When I first read The Raven Boys a year ago, I never thought I would fall in love with it, and then all over again and again and again. I didn't expect it to turn out this way.
I expected a cheesy romantic up-and-down relationship between Blue and Gansey. Ghosts and foretellings, sure, but definitely not this good. In fact, I expected an average teen fantasy novel, but Maggie Stiefvater did better than that. Much better. Because she has this unique fantasy and creativity. Four beautiful boys (not (only) talking about appearances), a talented out of this world family of seers, like never heard of before. A story so magical and incredible, I was bewitched from start to end.

I loved the Wolves of Mercy Falls. But with this series Maggie Stiefvater wrote a way into my heart.

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Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
September 10, 2019
Bumping this up to 4 stars. I appreciated this story much more upon rereading it! I think when I first read this book, I had trouble comprehending the story and differentiating between the characters since so much was being introduced at once. Now it’s been easier for me to familiarize myself with the story, and I’ve come to appreciate the atmospheric way Stiefvater approaches the narrative and the depth in her characters. I still don’t feel emotionally attached to the story or the characters as I should be, which is why I’m not rating it 5 stars, but objectively I am very much aware of how this is a solid coming-of-age book and that it is well-written with endearing characters.
Profile Image for Justin.
284 reviews2,301 followers
August 17, 2016
Yesterday I walked into my library's Young Adult section which is inside its own special Young Adult room. There were all these kids hanging out playing video games when this bearded 31 year old man walked into the room. He was a man on a mission, a mission to quickly identify the YA Series section, track down the YA SER RAV label on the spine of The Raven Boys, and get the heck outta that room before anyone knew I (I mean he) was there.

Mission accomplished.

Then I walked around the library looking for any other book to put on top of The Raven Boys so no one would notice what I was holding, which was the sole reason I even drove to the library in the first place. What do I do what do I do what I do? I searched for Welcome to Godot because I wanted to read that anyway. No luck. I tried Stephen King, a safe choice. Too many people in that section. So I just covered the book with my iPhone, checked out on my own, and rushed back to my car.

Then I read through this book in less than 24 hours. I basically worked, slept, ate, watched two episodes of Stranger Things, and read The Raven Boys.

Is it a good book? I guess. If I'm rating within the genre outside of the target audience, yeah it's fine. But then I have to wrestle with the fact that I basically devoured the book so maybe I'm too afraid or too embarrassed to admit that I really liked it.

It has an interesting starting point and the story is fun. The characters are pretty cliche and the author reminds you over and over again what each character is dealing with or their background. But the story moves along well with plenty of twists and turns. There is some cool paranormal stuff, too. The whole concept of fate versus free will is also pretty cool, although it's never explicitly discussed in detail.

I was worried the romance stuff would be way over the top. It wasn't. Blue is a lot cooler than Katniss. God, who am I? Anyway, the story takes precedence over any sappy love story even though the whole point is that she is going to kiss and kill someone. It could have easily gotten all young adult mushy, but it didn't. It's good, alright? I enjoyed it. Its fun. There. I feel better.

I put the second book in the series on hold at the library already. So that happened. Maybe this time I'll walk in and out proudly, holding the book high in the air, singing its praises as I skip out of the library.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
October 26, 2022
”He felt raw: the chronicle of his fiercest desire stripped from him by force.”

After finishing “The Raven Boys” I have about a thousand of questions, the most pressing one however is the following:

Why did I wait so long to read this freaking awesome book???

I mean seriously!!?? What’s wrong with me!?
How could I survive without knowing about “The Raven Cycle”?!

I loved this book! It was so magical and mysterious and all the characters were so unique and well developed! What I loved the most was the way they interacted though! Those four boys have such a deep friendship it’s almost unbelievable! They care so much for each other, yet they all have their own troubles and worries that constantly seem to get in their way! Each and every single one of them is somehow broken, but together they are whole! Gosh!! I can’t even describe how wonderful they are but suffice it to say that this book is going to turn your world upside down! ;-) Well, that and your emotions! Jeez! This was such a roller coaster my hair is still messy and tangled from the ride! *lol*

I guess to know what I’m talking about you just have to read the book and make this experience for yourself. I’m pretty certain the majority of you won’t regret it and I can almost guarantee that sooner or later you will realise that you’ve grown fond of “The Raven Boys” as well! ;-P They just have a way to sneak into your heart and once you’ve opened up there is no going back! XD

The plot:

”More than anything, the journal wanted. It wanted more than it could hold, more than words could describe, more than diagrams could illustrate. Longing burst from the pages, in every frantic line and every hectic sketch and every dark-printed definition. There was something pained and melancholy about it.”

Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic and has grown up in a family that knows and sees things others don’t. Every member of her family has a special talent and so does Blue! She’s some sort of supernatural amplifier and is able to strengthen the abilities of others, yet she can’t use her gift to see ghosts as well. Well, at least not until the night of St. Marks Eve when she meets the ghost of a boy named Gansey. Apparently the only reason she’s able to see him is because he’s her true love and before she even knows it, Blue is already smack in the middle of a magical quest that drives her straight into the arms of a group of four Aglionby Boys. There are only two problems: First, Blue swore herself never to get involved with any of the Aglionby Boys and secondly, there’s a rather dark prophecy that claims that she’s going to cause the death of her true love…

The characters:

”But Gansey was already grabbing the car keys to the Pig and stepping around his miniature Henrietta. Even though Ronan was snarling and Noah was sighing and Adam was hesitating, he didn’t turn to verify that they were coming. He knew they were. In three different ways, he’d earned them all days or weeks or months before, and when it came to it, they’d all follow him anywhere.”

This is the moment where I tell you that you’ll be hopelessly spoiled if you continue to read my review! So consider yourself warned and proceed at your own risk! ;-P


”As always there was an all-American war hero look to him, coded in his tousled brown hair, his summer-narrowed hazel eyes, the straight nose that ancient Anglo-Saxons had graciously passed on to him. Everything about him suggested valor and power and a firm handshake.”

Gansey is so precious!! He is some sort of mother hen and cares for all of his boys and I just couldn’t help but had to love him for it! Alone the way he expressed himself, how he spoke, what he thought and his journal, gosh how much I adored him for writing his journal!!! This boy is pure poetry and whenever I read his POV I was so intrigued that I just wanted to read even more! XD I loved how he worried about Adam, Ronan and Noah, how he knew that he appeared to be arrogant but still couldn’t seem to be able to change it. Oh, how he broke my heart! And then his story about the hornets’ nest!? Gosh it gave me the creeps!! I’m allergic to bees and wasps as well and when I was about eight years old I made a rather similar experience. *shudders* THIS hit way too close to home and I actually had to stop to read when he told his story! ARGH! I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it! *lol* I really don’t know how he’s going to deal with Adam’s betrayal and I can’t wait to find out in the next book! I just hope their relationship isn’t broken because of it!!

”Adam was struck, as he occasionally was, by Gansey’s agelessness: an old man in a young body, or a young man in an old man’s life.”

”In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year."

”My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them. Can you believe I’m only alive because Noah died? What a fine sacrifice that was, what a fine contribution to the world I am.”


I really liked Blue! She was so nice and kind and even though everyone told her to stay away from the boy’s she was just too curious to actually go through with it! *lol* I loved that she always tried to see the good in those four boys, especially Ronan! ;-P And it was sooo damn sweet how she interacted with Noah!!! =))) Those two were amazing! *lol* Whenever Noah patted her head I was like: Awww!
I think I kind of low-key ship them even though I know that this is never going to happen! Haha! I’m really curious how Blue’s character is going to develop and I can’t wait to get to know her even better!


”Unlike Ronan, Adam’s Aglionby sweater was secondhand, but he’d taken great care to be certain it was impeccable. He was slim and tall, with dusty hair unevenly cropped above a fineboned, tanned face. He was a sepia photograph.

Oh, Adam!!! He’s such a precious cinnamon roll!!! I love this boy and I’m so sorry that he had to endure the abuse of his father!! How could he dare to hurt my precious boy so much??!! I could understand why Adam wanted to be independent and didn’t want to rely on Gansey! He wanted to do things his way and I respect that! Still, sometimes he was a little bit too stubborn for his own good and I really wish he would have accepted Gansey’s offer to live with him! I can’t bear the thought that he’ll never be able to hear on his left ear again and gosh I’m so glad Ronan came to his rescue and intervened!!! XD I think of all the characters in this book, Adam actually went through the biggest character development and I really hope that he’s going to be okay in the next book! I know why he woke the lay line but I’m worried about the price he’ll have to pay! >_<

”The ripped knees of Adam’s camo cargo pants appeared first, then his faded Coca-Cola T-shirt, then, finally, his face. A bruise spread over his cheekbone, red and swelling as a galaxy. A darker one snaked over the bridge of his nose.
Gansey said immediately, “You’re leaving with me.”

”It means I never get to be my own person. If I let you cover for me, then I’m yours. I’m his now, and then I’ll be yours.”

”Where do you live?”
Adam’s mouth was very set. “A place made for leaving.”
“That’s not really an answer.”
“It’s not really a place.”


”Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.”

Well if that quote doesn’t describe Ronan perfectly then I really don’t know! XD Oh, man! That boy was so awesome! XD I loved his grumpiness and his attitude! Despite his rather mean and very honest statements he seemed to have a pretty soft side and even though it was hidden so well, there were still some moments when you could see it! =) I wish we would have gotten his POV as well, but I guess Maggie had her reasons to hold it back! Hopefully we’ll get Ronan’s POV in the second book though and if “yes”, you’ll certainly read it in my updates. *LOL* I’m curious to find out more about his background and I really want to know why he and his brother are at odds! AND what happened to his father?!! This question is still playing on my mind and I can’t help but wonder what happened when he found him!

”Ronan kept staring at Whelk. He was good at staring. There was something about his stare that took something from the other person.”

”You look like a super villain with your familiar,” Adam said.
Ronan’s smile cut his face, but he looked kinder than Blue had ever seen him, like the raven in his hand was his heart, finally laid bare.


”Noah, unlike his pristine room, always seemed a little grubby. There was something out of place about his clothing, his mostly combed-back fair hair. His unkempt uniform always made Adam feel a little less like he stuck out.”

I’m so sorry that he’s a ghost! I already anticipated it because I picked up on the clues, but I really wish my perceptive mind would have been wrong! *sighs* I never liked Whelk and I can’t understand how he could kill such a nice and cute boy!! I mean he was his friend!!! Poor Noah! To be betrayed like that! Still, I’m glad they managed to get his bones to the church and I hope he’s going to be a permanent part of the next three books! =)

”I’ve been dead for seven years,” Noah said. “That’s as warm as they get.”

”Can we go home? This place is so creepy.”

The ships:

Gansey & Blue :

He paused, his smile wide and benevolent. “This is all down to you. Putting us on the line, finally. I could kiss you.”
Though he was obviously joking, Blue skittered to the side.

I loved those two right from the beginning! They have such a nice chemistry and I can’t wait to see how they’ll fall in love! Right now it doesn’t seem to be likely, but we all read about Blue’s vision in the tree and I have no doubt that they’ll actually end up together! I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what Maggie Stiefvater has up her sleeve! *lol* ;-P

Ronan & Adam :

Adam and Blue Who? *looks innocent*

Ronan said, “I’m always straight.”
Adam replied, “Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told.”

I know this is no official ship


I WILL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP!!!! I swear there were so many moments between Adam and Ronan and if they don’t get together in one of those four books I’m going to cry a freaking ocean!! I mean it!!! I’ll die if Maggie Stiefvater doesn’t work her magic with those two!!! THEY JUST HAVE TO BECOME CANON!!! Period!!! Enough said! XD *faints*

”As Adam stared at his lap, penitent, he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry.”

”He stroked Chainsaw’s head with a single finger and she tilted her beak up in response. It was a strange moment in a strange evening, and if it had happened the day before, it would’ve struck Adam that he rarely saw such thoughtless kindness from Ronan.”

Artist credit: ranoki @ tumblr

The bottom line:

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! I loved it with all my heart and all my being!!!
Maggie Stiefvater is a genius and I can’t wait to dig my claws into the next book!! XD
“The Dream Thieves” I’m coming!!!

P.S: Before I forget: This was a buddy read with the amazing Katherine and I’m so glad we could experience this together!!! You were the perfect buddy to read this book! ;-)
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,633 reviews34k followers
September 18, 2012
On a cold night every spring, sixteen-year-old Blue and her psychic mother wait in a churchyard for the dead to arrive. Her mother is usually the one who sees the spirits of people who will die within the next twelve months, but this year, Blue herself is startled by the sad, desperate sight of a boy named Gansey falling to his knees before her.

"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve, Blue. Either you're his true love...or you killed him."

With those chilling words, Blue is caught up in a mystery she never expected involving the privileged Raven Boys from Aglionby Academy. She must guard her heart closely, however, because Blue's always been told that she's destined to kill her true love with a kiss.

If Edgar Allan Poe had taught the boys of Dead Poets Society, The Raven Boys is the type of tale he might've told, one that emerges through curl of smoke and excites with a flash of fire. This story, which seems to be loosely based on a real Welsh folk tale, is haunted by ghosts, invigorated by a fantastical search for a legendary sleeping Welsh king, and tinged with the frightening dark beauty of centuries-old magic.

While the story starts out from Blue's point of view, the book is actually told in third-party omniscient style, a welcome change from the author's usual first person perspective, and a necessary one given the many characters we get to know, particularly the raven boys. Gansey, who is obsessed with the supernatural; Adam, who yearns for a life outside what he knows; Ronan, whose anger hides untold regret; and Noah, a troubled soul who knows more than he lets on. I loved the complicated relationship between these boys, from their good-natured jeers to their anxious concern for one another. There is a collegial feel to the book that I very much enjoyed, but beyond that, there is also a deeply felt connection and a mysterious synergy between the characters that I hadn't felt in the author's books since Shiver and Linger. It's a surprise to find that the strongest and most compelling facet of this novel isn't necessarily the romance--although that is also intriguing and incredibly complicated--but the brotherly love between this tightly-knit group of boys.

There are several mysteries going on, all of which aroused my curiosity. I have to admit, however, there are so many characters and plot lines to keep track of that the first half of the book was occasionally bewildering and a little maddening. As with The Scorpio Races, I also find some of the names a bit distracting since there are so many unusual ones (although I do like some of them, including the rather gloriously pompous "Barrington Whelk"), and the propensity to overuse proper nouns when a simple "he" or "she" would do occasionally tried my patience. While I think the novel would be stronger overall if it was a little more focused and lost some of its cluttering details, these are small nitpicks in such an imaginative book, and the whirlwind of the second half definitely rewards those who stick with it. I liked that we see more of the author's offbeat humor in this novel, and her gift for seeing beauty in ordinary things still moves me.

The air moved slowly around his body, somehow tangible, gold-flaked, every dust mote a lantern.

I'm happy to find another Maggie Stiefvater book that I like so much and I'm incredibly excited to see where this story goes next. That cryptic ending--and the loose ends with Blue's romantic destiny--will guarantee that I'll be one of the first people in line for the sequel.

For fans of intelligent mystery and fantasy, this unkindness of ravens is well worth your time.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

Win a Raven Boys ARC

We know we've been spoiling our readers with giveaways recently, but there are a ton of great books releasing this fall. Thanks to our friends at Scholastic Books, you can win a copy on the blog!

Read the First Two Chapters

If you'd like to sample this novel, the first two chapters are up on Entertainment Weekly as well.

Profile Image for Riley.
429 reviews21.7k followers
November 3, 2015
Easily the best book I've read all year.

I've never read a book before where I love every single character equally.
Blue: she is everything i aspire to be and i just want to be bffs with her
Gansey: yes plz
Ronan: he's so scary and angry but you just know he secretly loves to watch cute cat videos
Adam: he must be wrapped in a warm blanket and protected at all costs
Noah: my precious cinnamon bun
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books76.8k followers
February 10, 2017
Todo el libro me gustó muchísimo... con excepción de los últimos capítulos. Me confundieron bastante, pero no sólo eso... el "conflicto final" no me emocionó nada, lo sentí flojo.

PERO en sí me gustaron bastante los personajes y claro que seguiré leyendo la saga. La historia me parece original y muy mística, tiene ese aire mágico que me encanta leer.
Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,745 followers
December 23, 2017
"What happened was they drove to Harry’s and... Gansey ordered flavors of gelato until the table wouldn’t hold any more bowls and Ronan convinced the staff to turn the overhead speakers up and Blue laughed for the first time at something Gansey said and they were loud and triumphant and kings of Henrietta, because they’d found the ley line and because it was starting, it was starting.”

(Artwork by Static)

There was so much more to this book.
What it was: a group of kids searching for a dead welsh king
What we didn't know we needed in life: a group of kids searching for a dead welsh king
What we got:
a more than useless but frustratingly lovable orange car that drove
a dead boy,
a sarcastic asshole,
a cinnamon role,
a girl with a heart of sensible gold and
Richard 'Dick' Gansey III.
Wherein these group of misfits, don't find the dead welsh king yet. But find so much more, within themselves, within each other and in the beautiful world that Ms. Stiefvater has blessed us with.
+boatshoes, trees that speak latin and a raven for a raven boy


The Plot

“You missed World Hist."
"Did you get notes for me?"
"No. I thought you were dead in a ditch.”

I loved quite literally everything about The Raven Boys. The only thing I'm going to start by saying is that the first half went a bit too slow for my liking, but straight after the halfway mark, I was so drawn in, if someone took the book out of my hand- I could have cut a bitch.

I annotated the hell out of this one, because everything was meaning dense. We didn't just get words for the sake of it being a book. We got words for the sake of the story's importance. That for me, defines great writing.

“Gansey's partying with his mother," Ronan said. He smelled like beer. "And Noah's fucking dead. But Parrish is here.”

I loved the hell out of this gang. I could feel how connected they were to themselves and their adventures. For the first book, the plot really got me hooked, but besides the point - if this book was whole-heartedly character driven. I would be there, sitting, reading with the biggest fucking grin on my face.

I am an avid romance reader, and although romance is a sub theme within this book - it isn't the focus. There are romantic elements but this was more on the lives of these teenagers / adults who are growing through the path of finding themselves through finding something else. (be it a dead king, or even the keys to the car). It gave me a really warm feeling in my chest, it reminded me so much of why I love YA, because no matter what age reads it - there's a message for everyone.

300 Fox Way
I wish I could explain this part, and what it means to me - but it's going to be hard to put my feelings to words.

Every single character (minor or major) in this book had an impact. To the extent, where we got not just characters playing an impact but objects, symbols, damn flora and fauna.
It's such a bittersweet feeling knowing that somewhere out there, there is always something waiting to be found or known. Everything and everyone in this book was reaching for it, for their own reason.

“if you had a special knack for finding things, it meant you owed the world to look.”

So in a way, we all have our own Cabeswater.
We all have our own Owen Glendower.
We all have our own St. Marks Day.
We all have our own 300 Fox Way.

That's the beauty of this book. It took such a fantastical and non-sensical escapade and turned it into a life lesson that nearly everyone can look at and learn from. For this reason, I find it a shame that some people don't read. Fuck knows, they are missing out.

Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,172 reviews8,384 followers
April 28, 2016
Do I need to even explain myself? No? Well, I will anyway.

This book has it all:

The best characters.
Maggie (I feel like we're on a first name basis) doesn't neglect developing any of the characters. Whether they show up for one scene or are a main character, they are real, fleshed-out people. I have a hard time believing Blue and the Raven Boys aren't walking around somewhere in Virginia right now on their search.

Perfect writing.
It's almost frightening how accurately the writing fits the mood of this book. It's dreamy and magical and moody, but still very real and honest and grounded in reality. How she manages to combine to polar opposite things in such a well-executed way baffles me.
Ex: "She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness. It was the way she felt when she looked at the stars." Enough said.

The most unique plot.
Talking trees in a magical wood, dead Welsh kings, and fast orange cars. But it's set in rural Virginia in the present day, and it's all tackled by sixteen and seventeen-year-old students and psychic women.

And all of the feelings/

The first time I read this book I gave it 4 stars, but this book is like a fine wine; it gets better with age. I don't even think that metaphor works, but I don't care because I can't write as well as Maggie anyway and you need to go read this book now. The more I return to this series, the more secrets I will uncover, I'm sure. And that is what makes it a 5 star book for me. I enjoyed this even more the second time around.
Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews46k followers
September 11, 2020
Raven Boys turns out to be more interesting that I thought it would be.

I was reluctant to start this series, not only that most of the hyped YA series always disappointed me, this one also seems like a book written specifically for girls. Don’t kill me, here’s the fact and statistic. If I go to the front page of Raven Boys, out of my friend list (right now around 600), 200 of them has read and rated it. Out of those 200, only 13 of them consists of male. Yes, 13 out of 200, AND this is only because there’s a limit of 200 visibility of your GR friends rating that could appear in the front page of any book.

This means there are actually more people from my friend list that already read and rated the book, I can’t even see anyone on my friend list that put it on their “TBR” on the front page and this is coming from someone’s friend list that consists mostly of adult fantasy fans. THAT’S how popular this book and series is. Luckily, I actually thought Raven Boys, the first book in the 'The Raven Cycle' series by Maggie Stiefvater is not bad at all.

This book could honestly be a 4 star read from me but I can’t do that because of the first 150 pages. The plot for me started out immensely boring, cliché, and uninteresting. Hear me out, this is the premise, Blue must stay away from her true love and not kiss him because if she does, he’ll die. She's determined to do so until she met the Raven Boys, the ones from the local private school and her determination started wavering. That is seriously more or less the blurb, the prologue and what seems like may be the entire story at the beginning. I mean, how in the world would that intrigued any dude? You might as well put 'Reverse Snow White' as the blurb.

But, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. (Sorry, I had to do that.)

This book got so much better somewhere in the middle when ALL the main characters, this is Blue and the 4 Raven Boys, finally meet.

Picture: The main characters of the series fanart by Cherryandsisters

The plot became more interesting. It’s atmospheric, bizarre and I’m seriously intrigued to find out how this book could become a 4 book series cause there seems to be not a lot to work on right now. However, my favorite part of the book definitely lies within its character interactions.

“I guess I make things that need energy stronger. I'm like a walking battery."
"You're the table everyone wants at Starbucks," Gansey mused as he began to walk again.
Blue blinked. "What?"
Over his shoulder, Gansey said, "Next to the wall plug.”

I’m still in the first book and yet the characters personality felt so real to me already. Blue, Gansey, Adam, Noah and Ronan all have different personality and Maggie knows how to write their feelings and interactions really well. Also, a plus for Ronan's love towards Chainsaw, his new raven pet.

“We have to be back in three hours," Ronan said. "I just fed Chainsaw but she'll need it again."

"This," Gansey replied "is precisely why I didn't want to have a baby with you.”

Maggie’s prose is also beautiful, although it takes a bit of time for me to get used to her style, once I’m used to it every word she wrote was pleasant to read. One last thing to note, this book is written in multi 3rd POV, and miraculously there's no “I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding” that seems to exist in almost every YA books, and despite the premise, romance is actually secondary to the main plot.

Overall, Raven Boys is a good book to start the series. From what I gathered so far, the first book is just laying the groundwork and background for the characters and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series has in store for me.

This review is also featured on Booksprens where I'll be a guest reviewer for this series, check it out! :)

You can find the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
Profile Image for Bhavya .
479 reviews901 followers
July 4, 2022
"If I were a tree, I would have no reason to love a human."

~Rating- 1.5 stars~

(Content/ Trigger Warnings)

-No mention of these in the review-

Where do we start?

Have you ever read a book that left you dumbfounded? It made your heart thump in all the right ways, it filled you with emotions, it made you scared for the characters and you were left screaming 'What is going to happen next?'

Unfortunately, The Raven Boys was not that kind of book.

“You're looking for a god. Didn't you suspect that there was also a devil?”

For me, The Raven Boys was a very different read. This is possibly the only book till date that left me so shattered, disappointed and disheartened — but most of all it left me so unbothered. If this was not an unpopular opinion, I probably would not have written a detailed review.

“It had been a long time ago, but also, it was no time at all.
Sometimes, Gansey felt like his life was made up of a dozen hours that he could never forget.”

I consider myself a critical reader, and there are several books I have disliked before. In all those cases, I could tell why I disliked the book. I could explain what I did not like about it, what didn't work for me, but what could work for others. With The Raven Boys, I know I hated the book, but I have no idea why.

“Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.”

Blue Sargent has been told for as long as she can remember that her true love will die because of her. On a cold, chilly night, Blue waits with her psychic aunt, who can see the spirits of those people that will die within the next twelve months, in a churchyard for the dead to arrive. Blue has never seen the dead before, and is shocked when she sees the desperate sight of a boy named Gansey.

“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.”

For the first half of the book, the plot was exactly what was in the blurb. It was basically about Blue, and her fear about what she was told. We are also introduced to The Raven Boys- the other characters in the book (who I will talk about later)

I think the main problem I had with The Raven Boys, was the misleading blurb and the sudden shift in the tone of the book. The first half is slow, where the plot seemed to revolve around the actual mystery of whether or not Gansey was Blue's true love. However, as the book moves on, the plot's focus changes completely. It revolves around Gansey and his quest to find the long-lost Welsh King.

Now, this wouldn't have bothered me so much if I had actually understood what was going on, but sadly I did not. I have no idea what the entire subplot on Welsh King was about. I honestly do not know what happened for more than half the book, which personally for me is a bad sign.

The other thing I didn't like about the plot, was the way the 'plot twists' didn't make any impact on me. No impact at all. I'm someone who usually predicts plot twists in books, but over here I just didn't care. As I said before, I was so unbothered. When it was revealed that

“Is that all?" she whispered.
Gansey closed his eyes. "That's all there is.”

(Yes, unfortunately that is all we got)

The world building for The Raven Boys, was the weakest part of this book. At first we see some glimpses of good world building, especially when we see Blue and her psychic family. But as the book progresses, the world building is very lacking. Things just happen for the sake of it.

The magic system has no rules or regulations. There isn't an established right-wrong or possible-not-possible in the magic system, which makes things so much more confusing as literally anything can happen, and I'm just supposed to sit and read on.

I've read and liked books that lack world building before and a soft-magic system isn't an automatic no-no for me, but I still expect some basic rules so that I can follow along, which this book did not deliver. The plot and the world were both confusing, which again, would have been fine had the characters made up for it, but they did not.

“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

There are 5 main characters in this book: Blue Sargent, Richard Campbell Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch and Noah Czerny.

◙ Blue Sargent

“She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

Blue surprisingly, is not a typical YA protagonist. She is similar to typical YA main characters in some ways, eg- having a unique name, making sarcastic remarks etc, but what makes her different is her not having some 'special powers'. In fact, most of her arc is about her not having special powers like her family.

In every other YA book I've read, the main character is often the one who is the 'chosen one', which fortunately was not the case here. I'll give credit where its due and say that this was refreshing to see, but alas I could not connect with her character.

“She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.”

I can see why Blue might be a likable protagonist, but I felt she was sort of lacking a personality. To me, she felt like she didn't have any prominent character traits. I felt like I couldn't pinpoint the answer to a basic question, which I would ask her character if I got the chance. 'What defines you, Blue Sargent? What matters to you?' I hope we know soon.

◙ Richard Campbell Gansey III

“The way Gansey saw it was this: if you had a special knack for finding things, it meant you owed the world to look.”

I suppose I can say that Richard Campbell Gansey III, or Gansey for short, is an intriguing character, but not one I am intrigued in. While I do not dislike him, I do not like him either. He's in the middle for me.

“When Gansey was polite, it made him powerful. When Adam was polite, he was giving power away.”

I didn't really like how he behaved with Adam in this book, and I do not like his condescending nature, but I think he still has a lot of scope for improvement.

◙ Adam Parrish

“Adam had once told Gansey, "Rags to riches isn't a story anyone wants to hear until after it's done.”

Adam is the only character I care about, which I know is another unpopular opinion. He isn't that relatable to me, but he is realistic which is why I love him. He is sweet and caring, but he is also angry and rude. An odd combination, but it is the description that fits him.

“Being Adam Parrish was a complicated thing, a wonder of muscles and organs, synapses and nerves. He was a miracle of moving parts, a study in survival. The most important thing to Adam Parrish, though, had always been free will, the ability to be his own master.
This was the important thing.
It had always been the important thing.
This was what it was to be Adam.”

I am interested in his story. I'd be willing to read a book about him, and I'll be willing to tolerate all the other characters in this series I do not care for, to get to know him better.

◙ Ronan Lynch

“You missed World Hist."
"Did you get notes for me?"
"No. I thought you were dead in a ditch.” [Ronan]

Ronan is another character I do not care about. He was a comic relief in a way, but I just don't care about him at all. He doesn't play a major role in the story.

◙ Noah Czerny

I couldn't find a quote for Noah, and he was sort of irrelevant. I forgot he existed for most of the book.

The side- characters were not that important. I liked Maura a bit.

“Gansey could’ve had any and all of the friends that he wanted. Instead he had chosen the three of them, three guys who should’ve, for three different reasons, been friendless.”

The writing (and the audiobook narration) was the only redeeming quality of this book. I felt it was well written and it was filled with humor. That saved The Raven Boys from being a 1 star, or lower. This was my first book by Maggie Stiefvater, and I might read more books by her.

“In his head, his mother said, 'People shout when they don’t have the vocabulary to whisper'.”

Audiobook Comments

Audiobook narrated by Will Patton. The narration was very good, and it was one of the things that kept me reading. Would highly recommend it! I wouldn't advise you to try this audiobook if you are completely new to audiobooks though, as it might be hard to follow along. For more audiobook recommendations, you can see my shelf.

“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”

Sad to say, but The Raven Boys failed to have me invested in any possible way. I would recommend it to those who are interested in this though, as I'm clearly in the minority. I’m still continuing the series in the hopes it gets better.

Buddy Read with Chiara. Thank you so much for buddy reading it with me! Thank you to Nashita for the recommendation, I am sorry I did not like your favourite series. 💖

“He strode over to the ruined church. This, Blue had discovered, was how Gansey got places - striding. Walking was for ordinary people.”

My ratings for all the other books in this series-
The Raven Boys- 1.5 stars
The Dream Thieves- 2 stars
Blue Lilly, Lilly Blue- 1 star
The Raven King- 0.25 star

Review written on 15th June 2021.

DISCLAIMER- All opinions on books I’ve read and reviewed are my own, and are with no intention to offend anyone. If you feel offended by my reviews, let me know how I can fix it.

How I Rate-
1 star- Hardly liked anything/ was disappointed
2 star- Had potential but did not deliver/ was disappointed
3 stars- Was ok but could have been better/ was average / Enjoyed a lot but something was missing
4 stars- Loved a lot but something was missing
5 stars- Loved it/ new favourite

Random Note- 15th June 2021
I have 23 reviews pending, (yes I know, that is a lot) so I’m going to be experimenting with different reviewing formats— starting with this one. Let me know which one you like! I’d love your opinions. :)


Soooo I decided to lower this to 1.5 stars as I didn’t really like it enough. Huge rant to come.


The last 30% is the only reason this is a 3 star and not a 2.

This was very disappointing. I might read book 2, but I don’t think I’ll read further if I don’t like that one.

Review to come.


The fact that this book is filled with praise makes me more nervous than excited as I’m going to start this soon and now I feel I might be disappointed.

All of my friends loved this book, so there’s a high chance I will like it too, but now I’m very scared to read it.

Let’s hope for the best🤞
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
November 21, 2019
weeeell, that sure was spooky. and went in a completely different direction than what i was expecting. but i will allow it because it was highly entertaining!

and although, unfortunately, im not as obsessed with this as much of the GR community seems to be, i can understand why there is so much love for this book and characters. but the highlight for me is definitely the welsh folklore. yay for representation!! the mythology definitely kept me intrigued and i cant wait to see where the rest of the series goes with it.

4 stars
November 26, 2021

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As I get older, I find myself being tougher and tougher on YA. I'm not sure if it's because I find it more difficult to relate to the characters, or if the characters are just becoming more bland. In either case, I'm a jaded dame who's hard to please...and who's also a glutton for punishment. It's a dangerous combination.

THE RAVEN BOYS wasn't a book I set out to read. I'd heard of Maggie Stiefvater before, but her work didn't sound like it was for me. Then THE RAVEN BOYS became popular, and I began to see that black and white cover flooding my feed, accompanied by glowing reviews praising the book as magical and original.

Then the book showed up for $1 at my local used bookstore. I couldn't say no to that, you guys. Peer pressure...for $1.

I am such a sucker.

I would like to start by acknowledging the book's obvious strengths. It is very well written. The author has a great vocabulary and she knows how to string words along, like beads on a bracelet, so they look all nice and sparkly and pretty. Sometimes, however, she uses too many beads, and you end up with something way too chunky for convenience. But at least the beads are pretty.

The obvious failing is that this book doesn't know who it wants its audience to be. It's a book about older teenagers written for preteens, and sometimes that shows in the writing, which is so tell-not-show that it's like being beaten over the head with a skateboard (spoiler). I felt like I had Stiefvater holding my hand the whole time I was reading the story, telling me, "Okay, so for this part coming up, I want you to feel scared, okay? And you can tell you're supposed to feel scared because the characters are scared and scary things are happening, so it's okay for you to feel scared, too."

It also really didn't help that I hated Gansey and Blue. Gansey was condescending as all get out, and I got tired of other characters in the book saying that it was because he was rich. There are plenty of rich people who don't go around making others feel stupid about themselves. Being rich may be something that you can't help but condescension is a life choice.

Blue I didn't like because she was such a little twit. The way she treated her mom annoyed me. She was selfish, easily offended, and completely self-absorbed. I suspect I was supposed to think that she was quirky and sarcastic and funny and independent. She's basically the Scrappy Doo of heroines. And everyone knows that Scappy Doo is a major Scrappy Don't.

I kind of guessed that I wasn't going to be a fan when I found out that the outcome of this story hinged on whether or not the sixteen-year-old heroine kissed a boy.

1.5 to 2 stars.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,743 reviews5,283 followers
October 1, 2019
#1 The Raven Boys ★★★★★
#2 The Dream Thieves ★★★★★
#3 Blue Lily, Lily Blue ★★★★★
#4 The Raven King ★★★★★
#4.5 Opal ★★★★★

“She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

All Blue's life, she's been surrounded by psychics: her mother, her aunt, her mother's live-in best friends. Blue can't predict anything, though - she's just an energy amplifier for everyone (and everything) around here. Her future has been set in stone for years. She will fall in love, and she will kiss her first love, and he will die.

It's hard enough, when Blue sees her first vision: the boy she will kiss and kill, a boy named Gansey. The weirdness is only beginning, though, because Blue's paths will soon cross with Gansey's in his search for a dead king and magic, and she will be wrapped up into a whirlwind adventure even her psychic family couldn't have prepared her for.



Seriously you guys, how did I not pick this book up sooner?! I am literally lamenting the fact that I have waited this long to begin this series - though, I'm also a little pleased, because I don't have to wait on book releases heh heh.

I'm just going to jump right into a breakdown of what I thought of this beautiful book. (By the way, I'm starting a new review format with this one - let me know what you lovelies think!)

I honestly just love Blue to pieces. I feel so sorry for her about the fact that she's the only one in her family who isn't a psychic, but I love her little "amplifier" ordeal and her sass and witticisms are fantastic. If I met someone like Blue IRL, we'd totally be besties.

The boys are all so precious and perfect in their own ways. I love Gansey's self-awareness and awkwardness, as well as his ridiculous obsession that he manages to draw everyone else into. I love Noah's adorable smudgy self. I love Ronan's fierce protectiveness and his bitter attitude that is so obviously hiding this teddy bear interior. I love Adam's shyness and feelings of inadequacy. They're all just precious little cuties and I want to protect all of them. ❤

How fun are the psychics?! Blue's mom is fun on her own, but I LIVED for Persephone's quiet oddity and Calla's snappy attitude and antics. It's so fun to watch their little predictions unfold, too. And then there's Neeve, who I have very mixed feelings on...

A bunch of teenagers on some quest to find a dead king in some magical woods, surrounded by the energy leftover from a bunch of dead people? Plus there are psychics and scrying and such? Count me in. I really thought the plot for this was fantastic (though admittedly a little bit confusing at the start for me, because I overthink things and spent the first few chapters wondering why it's so important to Gansey).

This was my first ever Maggie Stiefvater book, and I didn't know what to expect of her writing. A lot of my bookish friends had actually warned me that her prose was very lyrical and flowery, and to try to power through it, I guess? I could see where her writing could be unlikable by some standards, but I really enjoyed it! I found it to be just the right level of descriptive and vague, and I can't wait to read more of her work.

5 stars, all day! I absolutely loved this book and have already purchased the second book in the series. I'm only sad that I have such a big pile of ARCs that The Dream Thieves will have to wait a couple of weeks, but I might end up caving and diving into it sooner, because I am just so in love with these characters already and I can't wait to find out where their adventure takes them next!

June 2017 group read with Forgotten YA Gems
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
395 reviews694 followers
April 3, 2018
Review with my funny face? http://youtu.be/mZyzt0qw7tg

I enjoyed the hell out of this book. At one point, and I shit you not, I literally yelled "FUN!". Don't worry I was in my bedroom so no side eye whatsoever.

I was simply enthralled.

I've seen people said so and so is an 'atmospheric book' and I have never truly understood what they meant before. Until i picked this up. The Raven Boys was the definition of ambien and mystery . And I was simply lost to hours of intensely joyful read.

I got so invested in these characters: I could read and read and read their stories.

Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah - the most adorable and emotionally-layered gang I ever got to know. And loved. These five, ah, they just clicked and yes even with ronan on his bad days (I think..? lol). There was such genuine and easy comraderie between them that so refreshing to read about. The boys were already good friends from school yet when their gang expanded to include Blue, it was done so seamlessly almost like it was supposed to happen all along. She was supposed to come along and complete the group dynamic. And I, for one, glad she did. I just loved Blue.

The ladies at 300 Fox Way - they knew how to be the best kind of eccentric: with class and warmth and near fatal humor.

If you ever want to get lost in a book, in a world with so much care, so much charms and imaginations -

I welcome you to my beloved Henrietta.

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