The Raven Boys

(The Raven Cycle #1, By: Maggie Stiefvater)


“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.

Published September 2012 by Scholastic Press


I gave this book 3 stars. This was an easy read, with an interesting plot and set of characters. While I found myself cruising through the pages, I never felt incredibly emotionally invested in the story which ultimately led to the 3 star rating.

My favorite aspect of this book was the mystery that was created throughout the plot. I found myself regularly trying to figure out what was going on and guessing at what the characters would do or find next. Because of this, the plot was intriguing and kept moving forward at a fairly quick pace. While the mystery aspect of the story was fun, I found that ultimately that was the only thing keeping me interested in the story.

Throughout the read I was never fully invested in the characters. While their stories were each interesting and had depth, I found the character arcs to be lacking. Their flaws or struggles were overly stated and repeatedly highlighted which made many of them feel stagnant. While some change did happened, I just never found myself attached to the characters in a way that I would have liked.

Further, the relationships in the book also felt a bit surface level. Romantically, aspects of the teenage crush were playful to watch, but they never had the chance to develop into anything deeper.  The friendships were more fully developed, but they also felt stagnated. Going into the story, many of the friendships were already developed, and so we didn't get to watch these bonds form, they just existed more as they already were.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, but I felt that it needed more substance in the character arcs and relationships in order to push it up to a higher rating. However, since this is a full series (4 books) I am curious to see how these characters and relationships develop over time. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun paranormal mystery that they can breeze through. 




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