Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Book:  The Raven Boys
Author:  Maggie Stiefvater
Date:  September 18, 2012
Publisher:  Scholastic
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

“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.
(cover and description from


Initial reaction
::breathes a sigh of relief::  Thank God there’s another book after this one!

Secondary reaction
How damn long am I going to have to wait for the next book???

Tertiary reaction
What on earth does that last line mean????

Title and Cover
I have major title and cover love for this book.    I mean, just look at it!  It somehow is able to be both creepy and beautiful at the same time while managing to capture so many images from the book itself.  Why can’t they do this with all the covers?  And the title is perfect and it’s catchy.   This one is 2 big thumbs up!

What’s the Story?

Ok, let me outline my reactions as this book progressed.

Before reading:  I’m not sure about this one.  Everyone else seems to love it, but honestly, I didn’t really like Shiver all that much and I’m afraid I might not like this one.

Around 40-50 pages in:  Maybe I just don’t like Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style….::shrugs::  I’ll keep reading.

Around 100 pages in:  I’m really glad I kept reading.

Around 200 pages in:  Why do I work again?  And why did I say yes to that student teacher?  I could read this baby during my planning period if it wouldn’t get in the way of actually doing my job…..

Around 275 pages in:  Why, oh why didn’t I just take a sick day today????

Around 325 pages in:  Will you people just shut up so that I can read this?  I don’t care if you need to eat.  And honestly, brushing your teeth before bed when you’re 4 years old is completely overrated.

Around 375 pages in:  Thank God they’ve all gone to bed!  Now I can read like I need to!

On page 407:  What the hell does that last line mean and just how long am I going to have to wait to find out?  Oh and I think that I will definitely pick up the second book in her Faeries series now……

So, this is how my opinion changed and progressed as the book did.  Holy cow!  This book totally owned me by the end of it.  There is such a wonderful mix of mystery, the supernatural and the complexities of human relationships and human nature.  This book became impossible to put down.  I’m only halfway joking when I wrote that comment for around 325 pages.  And I think that cereal is a perfectly acceptable dinner, don’t you? : )

At first, the quiet meandering of this book and plot were hard for me to deal with, but as she added more and more bits and pieces, I suddenly found that the tone and voice of the book was just about perfect.  I don’t know how she managed to create such a wonderful mix of a plot, but it was absolute genius.  I felt like I was one of the characters in the book as well.  When they were blindsided and surprised by things, I was as well and just like them, I could go back and see her perfectly placed clues and realize that it was so evident if I had only known what to look for.  This plot construction was pure brilliance.

I loved the characters also.  They are such a colorful cast.  They were all so different and yet so believable and I find that I really care about pretty much all of them now at the end of the book.  I cannot wait to see how this story resolves itself for them and I am so worried about all of them making it to the end of the story unscathed.

I could continue this fangirl rant for days, but let me just suffice it to say that The Raven Boys is pure and simple genius.  If you like mysteries and paranormal plots that immerse you in the world of the novel, this book will not disappoint you.

The Soundtrack

The Raven Chant by Of the Wand and The Moon

The atmosphere of this song perfectly captures the atmosphere of the novel.

Loch Raven by Animal Collective

The Old Ways by Loreena McKennitt

Never Ending Road by Loreena McKennitt

This song made me think of the idea of the ley lines/corpse road.

The Final Grade

My grade for this book is an A.  I loved this book.  It was a slow arriving love, but once it was there, it really took hold of me.  Actually, Mr. Darcy expressed it best (no surprise!) when he said “I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)  That is how I felt about this book.  Go get this book now and read it.


  1. I heard positive reviews about the book and it's great that you loved it! I haven't read Shiver yet or any of Maggie Stiefvater's novel so I don't know her style of writing.Great and fun review!

  2. Maggie is awesome and I'm so happy you loved the plot and characters.

    This is a great review:)

  3. Thank you for this play-list. I'm currently reading The Raven Boys so it help a lot to set up the mood.

  4. Everyone that I know that has read this one has loved it! I love this review. Thanks!!!

  5. seriously, it is going to be torture waiting for the next book! loved this one!