The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Amazon | Goodreads

Blue Sargent is going to kill her true love. She’s known it her entire life. She was told as much by her family of psychics. It’s been a pretty insignificant and unlikely burden for Blue to bear until now. On St. Mark’s Eve she accompanies her aunt to the Corpse Road where the spirits of the Henrietta natives who will die that year walk. Because Blue isn’t a psychic, she’s never been able to see any of the spirits. But this year it’s different. This year she sees Gansey. And as her Aunt Neeve tells her, the only reasons a non-psychic would see a spirit on the Corpse Road are that he is her true love, or that she will kill him. A few days later, Gansey strides into her life bringing with him his friends and a mission to find the sleeping Raven King.

The Raven Boys is wonderfully quirky and insightful. Maggie Stiefvater manages, with her beautiful word choice and amazing ability to weave individual stories into an exciting plot, to be funny and sad at the same time. It’s a story about looking for meaning in an adventure. Even those who have everything, are still searching for something.

Virginia private school Aglionby Academy is full of the sons of Wall Street businessman, politicians, and rock stars. Everyone there is spoiled, rich and a jerk. But Blue’s Raven Boys are unique among their kind. Adam, the poor kid who’s there on scholarship, but still has to work three jobs to afford the tuition. Adam desparately wants to leave his abusive environment and shitty trailer park, but needs to do it on his own terms. Free will, the ability to be his own man, is all he wants. Ronan, the violent boy with secrets the world might be better off not knowing. He is filled with venom and hatred and anger.

And then there’s Gansey. Gansey is… complicated. He’s Richard Gansey III, the spoiled rich brat who doesn’t understand that his actions have consequences or the effect he can have on other people. But he’s also just Gansey, trying to make it worth the universe’s effort to create him and keep him alive. That’s a big part of why Gansey needs to save everyone, I think. This, “Why am I here? I don’t deserve any of this,” complex conflicting with the side of Gansey that doesn’t recognize his privilege.

I love this book. I’ve read it several times, and it’s the opener to one of my favorite series. I enjoy the characters and their continual development. I love the writing style. It’s a unique story: you don’t get a lot of stories about psychics, let alone one where the main character is the only one without supernatural abilities. The romance is a hanging sword; you know it’s coming, but you’re terrified for when it does happen. Stiefvater doesn’t rely on surprise killings of your favorite character to keep you emotionally involved. You know who’s going to die and you know why. You’re attached because the characters are well-written people who are constantly changing. Seriously, just read the book.


  • 5/5 stars
  • Beautiful writing
  • Well-written characters

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