Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ARC Review - The Raven Boys

 Release date: 09/18/12

Description (From Amazon):

“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.


Raven Boys did not turn out to be exactly what I expected, but I am not saying this in a bad way. From the book description I had the expectation that the book would follow Blue as she met Gansey and tried to resist kissing him because of the premonition that she would kill her true love. However, it wasn’t long before I realized that even though Blue has importance in the novel, the story was mainly about the Raven Boys and their quest, which also didn’t turn out to be anything I was expecting but I found to be quite intriguing.

After reading Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy, I realized that one of the things I enjoy about her novels is the way she is able to meld supernatural elements into an extremely realistic world setting so I am left feeling completely grounded in a world that is just like the one I live in, yet different because there is magic or werewolves or ghosts involved. Normally, fantasy books don’t make me feel this way, but Stiefvater is able to so seamlessly blend fantasy with reality that I am both in awe of it and sometimes thrown off by it. Sometimes I felt as though the character’s reactions should have been more somehow, more disbelief before accepting a supernatural element they didn’t know before, but I realize that’s not necessarily what Stiefvater is after with her novels. She wants these things to be so absolutely normal and accepted by her characters.

Blue and the Raven Boys find themselves on an adventure at which Gansey is at the helm. He is chasing something with an almost feverish passion, and his friends, as different as they are, are invested in it with him, and each bring something different to the table. In a novel with switching perspectives, Stiefvater doesn’t disappoint with writing interesting characters with their own complexities. It’s not easy to develop five characters within the space of one novel, but Stiefvater is able to do that. There is character building and depth as the story moves along, and the relationships that build between the characters doesn’t feel rushed.

I will say that I wished there had been more involving Blue and her “curse.” The romance aspect, in my opinion, is very light, but of course this is a book that will have sequels, and I can see how book one started to set things in place. Despite the lack of romance, the book was engrossing enough for me to not be too disappointed. I enjoyed Blue’s interaction with the boys but also with her family, which is a family of real psychics who each have their particular quirks. It made me feel like this was a house I could walk into and find these women.

Overall, I enjoyed the Raven Boys a lot, it’s a book I thought about after I was finished because the way the story unfolds and the actual plot of the novel is one I’ve never read before, and I am left wondering where it will go from here. I am definitely looking forward to continuing the series.

The Raven Boys gets four out of five stars.

Shanella's Review
Alexa's Review


  1. Down with romance! lol Kiddddding ....
    Book 1 was definitely a setup novel. And, you're right, Stiefvater does a great job blending fantasy into reality, in such a believable way.

  2. That cover is amazing, and the review sounds suuuuper interesting.

    I just finished a wicked good YA fantasy myself and am sorta raving like a mad lunatic about it to anyone who'll listen. It's called Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It was so good I snatched up the second one and finished that one in one day.. Onyx.

    I don't ususually rave that way, but if you haven't read it yet... try it.

    I think I'm gonna put this one on my TBR pile though. Sounds awesome!

  3. really looking forward to this one. i agree with what you said about her keeping the supernatural grounded in reality. she does this very well.