Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

the raven boys cover

View from the window seat:
For her entire life, Blue has been warned that she will cause the death of her true love with a kiss. Blue thinks she’s solved this problem by never getting close to any guys. She finds her resolve tested when, on a yearly outing with her psychic family to speak with the soon-to-be dead, a spirit sees and speaks to her for the first time. The spirit’s name is Gansey and he’s a raven boy, a student of the posh private school Aglionby. Soon Blue is caught up in his search for an ancient king and energy lines. Along with his complicated friends Ronan, Adam, and Noah, they search for a magic that might change everything.

Having read The Scorpio Races earlier this year, I picked up this book with high expectations (I like to forget that Shiver and its terribleness never happened). I was not disappointed. The synopsis makes it seem like this story is just another melodramatic teen love story, but there’s so much more to it than that. The romance is only a small part of the tale of Blue and her strange raven boys. The raven boys themselves are the most compelling part. I loved their complicated relationships with each other, from the teasing to the fighting to the protectiveness. They’re damaged, complex, and sympathetic characters. They do everything fiercely and with purpose.

This is very obviously the first novel in a series, as the ending leaves a lot of open questions and a lot of unfinished business. This is merely the beginning. The romance hasn’t even begun yet. I actually preferred this, because we avoided the dreaded insta-love. The whole time I was reading, I was afraid that Blue would start waxing poetic about some inexplicable connection to Gansey and they would share lingering stares, etc. While the inevitability of their romance is portrayed, this book is more about Blue forming friendships with all of the raven boys and becoming a part of their lives. That said, the ending felt a bit rushed as everything comes together. I was left with the feeling of not really understanding the implications of what happened in the end.

Overall impression:
The Raven Boys is full of compelling characters and leaves the reader with the knowledge that there is so much more to come.


Note: I received this ARC from the publisher at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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