The Raven Boys // A strange & intriguing YA fantasy

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.

What I Liked

  • I liked the relationships between Gansey, Ronan, and Adam. It was interesting to see the characters respond to the events in the book, and to see how the events impacted their relationships.
  • The plot kept me guessing. To be absolutely honest, I had no idea what was happening for about 75% if the book… but I was always curious about what was going to happen next.
  • Related to that, several major plot twists took me by surprise.

What I Didn’t Like

  • I wish I had a deeper understanding of the supernatural and the fantastical elements of the story. The plot revolved around finding the ley line and reviving Glendower which was supposed to grant a wish, but how would this happen? How did it work? There wasn’t much explanation around this. It all seemed vague and fuzzy.
  • I didn’t really get a sense of Blue’s personality nor the chemistry in her relationships with the Raven Boys.
  • I couldn’t get used to the writing style. The dialogues seemed forced.

The Bottom Line: 3/5 stars

Overall, the Raven Boys was an enjoyable read that kept me intrigued. However, I wish there was more explanations about the mechanics of the ley line, and the writing style was just not right for me.

Have you read The Raven Cycle? What did you think? What are signs of great world building in a fantasy book?

26 thoughts on “The Raven Boys // A strange & intriguing YA fantasy

  1. meandinkblog says:

    This is definitely one of the stranger series I have ever read 😂 For me this series grew on me as it went on– I think the last two are my favourites.
    I can see why it isn’t for everyone and why you would want more explanations of the mechanics of it all. It was definitely a character driven story for me. Interesting to hear your thoughts on it 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marie says:

    Lovely review, Sophie! I understand the confused feeling about this book overall and how everything actually… works, haha. to be honest, even if I read all of the series, I couldn’t quite explain the technicalities of it all, it all feels quite, abstract, I guess. I personally fell in love with the writing style and the overall atmosphere anyway, but I get that this can be frustrating at times :/ Do you think you’ll go on with the series? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book Sophie, though it’s a shame you struggled to connect to either Blue’s character or her relationship with the Raven Boys. I feel like the books do get better as the series goes on. I was a little so-so about the first book, I enjoyed it but didn’t really get all the hype surrounding the series, until I read the second book. There’s more of the supernatural element in The Dream Thieves.
    Do you plan on reading the rest of the series? Hopefully if you do you’ll enjoy it more. 🙂
    Great review, 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephanie Hawthorne says:

    Awh, I read this series in high school; it’s a little nostalgic to find it pop up on my feed! I think I read the first and second book. I always meant to finish the series but college and whatnot happened, haha.

    I may have to pick the series back up and find out how it ended!

    I do remember reading another book series by Maggie Stiefvater, I think it was, The Wolves of Mercy Falls. I liked reading this series at the time, it was a bit interesting to read as well if you stumble across them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hey Stephanie 🙂
      Yes I love the nostalgic feeling of hearing or reading about a book from a while ago. I haven’t gotten to the end of the series yet, but still I hope that you will enjoy the rest of the series 🙂
      I haven’t heard of The Wolves of Mercy Falls before but I will keep an eye out for that one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hey Stefanie 🙂 Yes I’ve definitely heard a lot of hype about this series which is why I decided to read it. So far I am with you in that this doesn’t make it on my re-read list 🙂

      Like

  5. Zoie @ Whisked Away By Words says:

    I’ve heard about The Raven Boys since… well, it seems like forever. Judging from your review & what I’ve heard of the book, it seems like something I would have adored when I was in middle school, but with my reading tastes now, I’m not sure. I guess the only way to find out would be to read the series myself 😊 Thank you for this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hey Zoie 🙂
      I’m with you there! If I was younger, I might enjoy this book more. Right now it is just a bit too strange for me haha.
      Our reading tastes change over time and I think it makes sense to read whatever we feel like at the moment 🙂 The important thing is to enjoy what we’re reading, right?
      Thank you Zoie ❤

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s