The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)

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The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 18, 2012
ISBN
978-0545424929
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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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
2.6
Plot 
 
2.0  (3)
Characters 
 
2.3  (3)
Writing Style 
 
3.3  (3)
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Not For Me

When I read a book that I didn't love but so many others have, I'm really torn. I always second guess myself and think about what I missed and what I didn't get. The Raven Boys is one of those books for me. I don't want to compare this book to others that Maggie has written because each one and each series is different. And I LOVED The Scorpio Races, it was my favorite book of last year. So I was really torn over not loving this one.

What I did like about The Raven Boys was the world that Stiefvater created. She has a way with words that makes each series and each story so unique and original. Maggie's writing is always beautiful and I can appreciate that, even though I didn't care for this particular story.

I struggled to get through this book. I found the change of narrators confusing and it took me a long time to figure out which boy was which. As beautiful as the writing is, the story seemed to drag in many places. It was about half-way through the book before I was excited about anything that happened and then it was many more pages before anything else really happened. The pace of the story did not work for me.

I don't think I will read any follow up books in this series. I just didn't connect with it. That's not to say that you won't. Maggie Stiefvater has a huge following and many people are raving over this book. You may read this book and think I'm crazy for not loving it. Again, I had high hopes for this book but it missed the mark for me.

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Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Maybe Right For You, Not So Much For Me

I was really torn on Raven Boys.

Our protagonist, Blue, lives in a house full of psychics and gets dragged into a shaky friendship with the boys from the local boarding school, as they search for the ley line, a place where the dead walk. Each has their own reason for wanting to locate the line, and while she doesn't want to spend time with the Raven Boys (a prediction that you will cause the death of your first true love will do that), Blue can't help falling into their plans.

On one hand, Maggie Stiefvater is the author of some amazing YA novels, like Shiver and The Scorpio Races. I adore her writing style and some of the phrases in her latest novel blew me away, like, "What it did was make him look more fragile and dirty, somehow, like a teacup unearthed from the soil..." I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of the titular Raven Boys, privileged students from a local boarding school. I feel like I am right in the room with the characters when I read, "They filled the hallway to overflowing, somehow, the three of them, loud and male and so comfortable with one another that they allowed no one else to be comfortable with them. They were a pack of sleek animals armored with their watches and their Top-Siders and the expensive cut of their uniforms." Despite the engrossing writing, I didn't connect completely with The Raven Boys.

I understand that the first book in the series must set up those that follow, but I found some of the plot decisions really bizarre. A tree that characters stand in to tell them the future? Check. An unexplained pet raven and a tattoo that changes shape? Check. An increasingly psychotic teacher? Double check. The Raven Boys gave me the strange experience of wanting to savor all the writing, without having to process the plot.

I'm in the minority in not adoring this book; Goodreads.com is blowing up with excitement. Still, it wasn't the right fit for me and I look forward to other books from Stiefvater that aren't part of this series.

Good Points
Stiefvater's writing is gorgeous, as always.
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2.0
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2.0
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2.0
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2.0

Not quite what I was expecting.

I did not enjoy this book like I expected to. I've read several other Maggie Stiefvater books, the most recent being, The Scorpio Races which is one of my favorites! This book was dark, heavy and less appealing to me but then again, I don't enjoy reading about mediums and witchcraft.

The body of the story seemed very wordy (for lack of a better term) and I often felt like I was reading an Alice Hoffman novel. The alternating POV's were confusing at times because I wasn't sure who was speaking, causing me to have go back and reread sections which is both time consuming and annoying.

The characters themselves weren't bad and I enjoyed their personalities, witty banter and sense of humors but that was about it. The plot didn't hold my interest and I don't really see the need to spread it out over several books.

Having said all of that, not every book will please every person and I'm OK with that. I've no doubt that The Raven Boys will have many fans but I'm just not one of them. (insert frowny face)

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
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5.0
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5.0
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5.0

A magical realism novel that I truly couldn't put it down!!

This book is absolutely amazing! Beautifully written and compelling, with memorable characters. I was completed invested in each of them!
The story started out slowly, but then I couldn't stop reading. The Raven Boys is a book that deserves to be savoured, a lot more complex and mysterious than I thought it would be. The ending left me wanting so much more!!

Seriously, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this Series.

Good Points
It’s a unique story!
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

wonderful

"The Raven Boys" is a haunting, lyrical masterpiece. Blue is a young woman whose mother is a genuine psychic. She has grown up being you'd that she'd kiss her true love and then they'd die. Later, she finds out this person is a "raven boy," or a student at the elite boy's school, named Gansey. Gansey is obsessed with finding ley lines. Together with Adam, Noah, and Ronan, they explore the mystical area around them and find more than they bargained for.

Altogether, this is a beautiful fantasy novel that hooks you and keeps you waiting for more. It's haunting and lovely. There are more issues and events than I can discuss here, but it's really an incredible book and I can't wait to read the next. I'd definitely recommend not reading it close to bedtime if you are a wimp like me (I have a low threshold). But definitely read it!!

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Amazing!

I really enjoyed reading The Raven Boys. It was filled with mystery, magic and adventure.

The Raven Boys had a great plot that was well written. It had some unexpected elements and twist to the story. And I loved the combination of psychic elements, ghost, magic and more!

Gansey and his friends are on quest to discover a king and Blue is somehow connected to it. Together they try to find out where the king is buried but someone else is also searching for the king too.

I loved the characters. The friendship between Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah was real and truly something great. I also liked how Blue fit in with them and clicked immediately. Blue's family; Maura, Persephone, Orla and Calla were also as interesting and unique as Blue.

I really loved diving into The Raven Boys and can't wait to see what Blue and the raven boys do next!

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Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

WOW!

Guys. Guys. GUYS! This book. OMG this book! So I tried reading this sometime last year and could not get through the first 100 pages. I will say that this book is very slow to start, it actually stays pretty slow for a long time but it's building the characters and the world is very well built during this time. It really enriches the story.

I love all the characters so much! I will say that Adam is sad as can be. I understand where he's coming from and it's great he wants to be a self created man but I don't understand why he doesn't except the help from his friends. They only want to help!

Ronan is... I don't even have words for him, at first I thought he was kind of an ass and then you really get to know him. You see why he is the way he is. He's such a strong and well developed character. One of the best I've ever seen honestly.

Then Blue, I love her! I love how she's so different from the average girl. I really love her family. They are too cool, I would love to live her family, There would never be a dull moment at all. Though I feel so bad for her, her true love will die if she kisses him.

That leaves Gansey. Oh my wonderful sweet and strange Gansey. He is such an old soul, so different from anyone his age. I love him so much. He's so caring and kind and also I feel so bad for him. Enough said.

I'd never heard of Ley Lines before this novel, so I went and actually looked up some of this stuff. I'm one of those people that like all this strange stuff. If you meet me in real life... I'm weird guys, I find this kind of thing really cool. Do I actually believe in any of it... not really. But it's cool to learn new things and these ley lines are pretty cool. So that was awesome to see.

I love the plot, it's well thought out and flushed so perfectly, that I honestly saw no mistakes and that's rare for me. Usually every book has a few mistakes or at least one. This one was awesome! I'm already reading the second one and it's just as good.

So if you've not read this book yet, then got onto it! You won't regret it!

Good Points
1) A+ Characters
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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Unexpected Treat

This was my first Maggie Stiefvater book so I really had no expectations for this. I started the book on a whim while I was on my way home but I stopped once the car was moving. When I got home, I put the book in the pile along with my other books and forgot about it. Months after, I decided to give the book another try. I didn’t stop reading this because of boredom, it really was just because I grew to be very busy and I forgot about it. Haha!

The book was really interesting, I was hooked since the prologue and I couldn’t stop reading. The way it was written was so poetic, unique and enchanting that I was left wanting more. It started a bit slow though, but as the story progressed, I found myself drawn further into the story. The concept of the story was really unique and the twists were so crazily awesome that I may have gasped a few times while reading.

The characters were so well-written and interesting. They left an impression on me in a way that’s made me care for these fictional characters. Hahaha! For now, I can’t pick a favorite character for I love them all equally. Let’s see if it stays this way once I get to read the next books in the series.

I’m really interested to see how the story unfolds with the rest of the books and I’m really looking forward to more of Maggie Stiefvater’s works

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(Updated: April 18, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

The raven boys.

This book shines when it comes to characters. We have a colorful cast and I appreciate how interesting the secondary characters are. I have a feeling everyone is playing a role and they aren’t ‘just’ there. I think that my favourite secondary character is Persephone. She has a whimsical, innocent and almost fairytale-like personality.

The Raven Boys are a fascinating group of boys, consisting of Gansey (the leader), Adam, Ronan and Noah. Blue is later added to that mix, because her special gift might come in handy and she has caught Adam’s attention. These two are incredibly sweet together and Adam was probably the raven boy I felt most connection with. Not because I’ve been in the same situation, but his actions, emotions and reactions felt very realistic to me. I have a soft spot for him. Gansey grew on me, but I don’t feel I know him well enough. I hope he shows more of his personality in The dream thieves.

Blue heard the same over and over again. You are going to kill your true love with a kiss. When she finally sees a ghost, it belongs to Gansey – and this means he will die soon. Their fates are connected and it’s one of the reasons she offers her help to him. Gansey is obsessed with finding the ley line, because once activated, he can find Glendower. There is a story that Glendower was buried, but he can be awakened and he will bestow you with a gift.

But The Raven Boys aren’t the only one looking for the ley line and it’s starting to get dangerous. You already know who the ‘villain’ is, but it didn’t make him less creepy. This is a person who is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything to get what he wants. The plot around the ley line and Glendower was good. I liked how we slowly figure out why Gansey needs to find it and the ending makes me very excited to see what is going to happen in The dream thieves.

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Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Surprised and delighted

4.5

I loved this book. It was so typically YA and then it changed and I was delighted and surprised. I haven't read many books like this, because so I haven't read much paranormal ghost stories. And then there is quite a bit of urban fantasy, romance and magic thrown in too. It was fun and every now and then you go, wow I didn't see that coming.

The only reason I'm reluctant to give it 5 stars is because the end disappointed me a bit. I get that a lot still has to happen in the second one, but it was just too abrupt.

Highly recommended though - I'm buying the second one immediately.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
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5.0
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5.0

My favourite book ever.

Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Raven Boys“ is hands down my favourite book of all time. So much so that if I could only ever read a single book for the rest of my life, this one would be it. Not any of the Harry Potter series or “The Lord of the Rings“, but “The Raven Boys“. Why?
Well, I’m a firm believer in that the best story cannot possibly work without great characters, and boy, do I love these characters to pieces. There’s Blue, the slightly odd, sensible daughter of a psychic, and of course her Raven boys - seemingly entitled rich kids that attend Aglionby Academy: Gansey, a drop-dead wealthy explorer, the less unfortunate Adam who tries to make it from rags to riches on his very own feet, there’s Ronan, the angry dreamer, and there’s Noah, the glum little creeper (and of course batches of brilliant supporting characters!) Each of these five protagonists are so real and raw, it’s quite impossible to not fall in love with each and every single one of them over the course of this magic carpet ride. And Henrietta, West Virgina, is a whole new world filled with magic, adventure and loyalty, with its eyes on exactly these fast five friends.
But the characters aren’t the only things lovable about “The Raven Boys“. Stiefvater has managed to find a quest so outrageously fascinating it’s hard to put the book down once you start reading. I used to be completely put off by the medieval studies classes I had to take at uni, but somehow, she managed to get me interested in this topic again, and I was excited to delve further into the history of Welsh prince Owain Glendower (a real Welsh ruler by the way) and the hunt for his corpse on the infamous ley line in town.
And this is also where Stiefvater manages to enthrall you with her writing (from different POVs) so much so that it is able to create a feeling so magical and of such utter peacefulness that it is a hauntingly beautiful reflection to her magical adventure quest of a story. Reading this book, you can’t help but feel completely at home in the setting.
Honestly, I can never stop fangirling over this book because it has everything I love about literature: amazing prose, beautiful characters, quick humour, so much magic that it transcends the pages, great twists and revelations that keep its seemingly slow pace interesting enough to never want to stop reading, a gorgeous 1973 Chevrolet Camaro (in orange!) and above all great friendship and a great undertaking for the something more.

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

A Mystery For Sure

There are many reasons I pick up a book 1)the synopsis sounds intriguing, 2)the author has intrigued me before, 3) the cover art is intriguing, and in this case 4) the title sounded intriguing. So that's the reason I picked this book up. Before I started reading, I didn't read the synopsis, but I did recognize the author.

The Raven Boys is one of those books that you start off reading and then are only mildly interested in reading for the first part. The Raven Boys is a complicated murder mystery/ folklore/ love story/ something else entirely that takes a while to really start building. But then, like a snowball, the story starts to pick up pace, and by the end there's so much going on, you know it's got to be in a series. And thank God for that.

The characters in The Raven Boys were probably my favorite part of the story. Each character was unique and carefully thought out. Who EXACTLY would best play this role? It's hard (I imagine) for a female author such as Maggie Stiefvater to write about four very different boys that some how get along with each other, and who somehow play a very important role in how the story will unfold.

To sum it all up: I wasn't sure if I would like The Raven Boys (especially after the first fifty or so pages), but I'm glad I made it to the end. I recommend this for anyone searching for a mystery, but willing to sit through some less than (seemingly) promising scenes. Kind of like Sherlock Holmes.

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Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
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3.0

The Raven Boys

This was actually my first Maggie Stiefvater book so I had absolutely no idea what to expect when going into it. The cover is what drew me to the novel in the first place and then after reading the description I knew I had to buy it and read it. Unfortunately, it ended up sitting on my shelf for a long time.

I can't say I was absolutely blown away by the book, that would be completely false. I did however, enjoy it quite a bit. I had a bit of trouble getting into it for the first third of the book or so. I found it to be pretty slow and there was a ton of description. Once the story started to progress, I found myself completely captivated by the plot and the characters.

I had a slight issue with Gansey. He reminded me of a teenage version of Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Just the way he spoke and his actions were very similar. Once I got past that, I absolutely loved Gansey. He was a vulnerable, caring guy and it was really nice to see a YA love interest who wasn't a complete jerk.

I honestly found myself frustrated with Blue. One minute she's complaining about Gansey and then the next she's thinking maybe she might be wrong about him. I wish she would have made up her mind because it got old after awhile. Besides that issue, I thought she was a pretty unique and interesting character. Meanwhile I absolutely loved Ronan. I started off disliking him immensely but he ended up growing on me. Who doesn't like the bad boy? Deep underneath that hard shell I think lies a boy who is tormented by his past and vulnerable. He's not a terrible person he just tends to put on a front to push people away.

While this was my first book by Maggie Stiefvater, it most definitely will not be my last. The world she created was spellbinding and the storyline was enough to have me coming back for the sequel. Based on this work I will also be checking out some of her other stories.?

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