The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – Review by Mindi Rench

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic, 2012)

Blue Sargent isn’t clairvoyant like her mother, but she does seem to be an amplifier for other people’s powers.

Gansey is a Raven Boy, a student at Aglionby, the local private school who is on a quest to find a long-dead Welsh King.

Blue has a strict policy of avoiding Raven Boys, but when she meets Gansey and his friends, she is drawn to them in ways she can’t quite explain.  She decides to join Gansey on his quest, only to find that her life will take some strange and sinister turns.

Have you ever read a book that you’ve loved so much you have a hard time talking about it without gushing?  That’s exactly the problem I’m having with writing this review.  I had so much fun reading The Raven Boys that I’m afraid I’ll over-hype it and then people will be let down.

Maggie Stiefvater has become one of my favorite YA authors.  From her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (Shiver, Linger, and Forever) to The Scorpio Races (my personal favorite of her novels), to The Raven Boys, Stiefvater takes a story based in myth and gives it a modern twist.  The little bit of romance thrown in for good measure is also a plus.  I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, but Stiefvater has a way of making her fantasy feel real… as if her stories could actually happen.  As a result, I wait anxiously for each of her books to be released!

In The Raven Boys, the myth is a Welsh one… an ancient king lies sleeping, waiting for the person who will awaken him.  Add to that ley lines, a ghost, some supernatural powers, and a bad boy with a cool car.  Who could resist?  Not Blue, that’s for sure… and not me, either.

Stiefvater’s style is easy to read.  She remembers what it’s like to be a teenage girl – one who is not entirely comfortable in her own skin.  Blue is the kind of girl who isn’t sure where she fits in, either at home with her mother and the other women who live in her house or with Gansey and the rest of the Raven Boys.  She has to figure out what she has to offer each of these groups while also staying true to herself.  I think most teenage girls (and many older-than-teenage women) can relate to those feelings.

Be forewarned…. The Raven Boys is the first in a planned four-book series.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll be at the bookstore on the release date to find out what happens next!
Want to know more?  Listen to Maggie’s interview on NPR, recorded shortly after the release of The Raven Boys!

Mindi Rench spreads the #nerdybookclub love as a junior high literacy coach in the Chicago suburbs. You can find her on twitter as @mindi_r and read her blog at