Book Review: “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 3.5/5

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” –Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

This was my first Maggie Stiefvater read, and although it was enjoyable overall, I had mixed reactions to it while reading. It took me almost until the halfway point to be genuinely excited about reading this, for the beginning felt drawn out and slow; a lot of it was dedicated to explaining the background story and world-building, whereas I was ready to dive right into the plot. I was also not a big fan of the protagonist, Blue. I felt as though she was trying too hard to be eccentric, and although I am all about embracing individuality, this just felt slightly too exaggerated in this scenario, wavering on a fine line between something that is fresh and original and a hackneyed trope.

However, the other major characters – the Raven boys – are phenomenal; I fell in love with each and every one of them and their merits and their flaws. Here are my detailed thoughts on each:

Gansey

I feel as though Gansey, as a character, should be despicable; in fact, his arrogance could be overwhelmingly irritating at times. However, I still liked Gansey, because he is the most compassionate character in the novel. He is always willing to go out of his way to help others and is constantly looking out for the well-being of his family and friends, which is truly chivalrous.

Adam

I appreciated Adam because he seemed to be the most rational in the group, and I truly understood his struggle between accepting help when necessary and maintaining his pride. I also like how he refused to take anything for granted and is able to enjoy the little things in life.

Ronan

Ronan is easily my favorite character. Although I am not usually a fan of characters that portray too much stereotypical “teenage angst,” I felt as though Ronan had a legitimate reason for acting the way he did; furthermore, his inherent kindness and overall goodness is apparent through his actions. I loved reading about his slightly dark sense of humor, pessimistic take on life, and evolution throughout the novel. Not to mention, the way he cared for Chainsaw was absolutely adorable!

Noah

Noah has this childlike innocence about him that made it impossible to dislike him; his insecure nature and general shyness make him all the more likeable.

They all blend so well together in the most adorable brotherhood and Blue quickly becomes the missing piece in all of their lives. As for the plot, I did feel like it was slightly too predictable, for there were no moments where I was truly caught off guard. Nevertheless, The Raven Boys was still a magical tale, and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

~Niraja

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

  1. I’m glad to see your low rating on this book because I also gave similar stars hehe.. Like you, I don’t like the plot. The characters are mostly great and I like Gansey too! Great review! I have read all books except the last one 🙂

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  2. Great review for this book Niraja. I loved the whole series but I will admit it does get better as it goes along. I think it takes a certain amount to time to fully get into the story. It was actually only in the second book that I started loving the story, the characters, and the world building.
    I definitely agree with your thoughts on Gansey, he seems like the king of character I’d normally hate but there was a lot of about him I ended up really liking, and Ronan was my favourite as well!
    Do you plan to start the second book soon? Or have you already read it?

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  3. Great review, Niraja! I’m glad to hear that you ended up enjoying the overall book despite all of the things you didn’t like. I have to agree with you about the pacing. I remember when I read TRB it took me forever because of the slowness of a lot of it. I’ve only read the first and second book at this point and the second one really picked up in pace for me. I hope you end up enjoying it! 😊

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  4. I’m glad you still liked this one even though you weren’t completely in love with it. I feel like the characters all grow so much as the book progresses. Ronan is my favourite too! Looking forward to see what you think of the rest of the series. I hope love them! Great review 😀

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  5. Great review, Niraja! I love this series a lot and thought the first book was amazing, but I can see your point re: the plot being a bit drawn out and Blue being just a little *too* try-hard eccentric. If I didn’t love Stiefvater’s writing so much and were already aware of how slow she usually takes it in her books, I think I’d have a harder time. Are you planning on reading the next book soon? 🙂

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