Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Books to Read if You Like the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.

trbToday’s topic is ‘Ten Books to Read if You Like This Popular Book/Series/Author.’ You basically choose a popular book/series/author you’ve read, and you recommend books based on the one you’ve chosen. I decided to choose the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater for this. This series has been getting very, very popular recently- and for a good reason. And because it’s so unique, I thought fans of the series would like to know other books that are similar in feel.

If you guys didn’t know, the Raven Cycle follows the story of five friends: Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah. Blue has been told her entire life that if she kisses her one true love, he’s going to die. One night while standing with her clairvoyant mother watch the soon-to-be-dead pass by, Blue sees her first spirit. The spirit of Gansey. The only reason a non-seer would see a spirit is if the spirit was their true love, or if they had killed the spirit. Blue soon discovers that Gansey goes to Aglionby- the elite school in her town. Immediately, she hates him for his arrogant air, but is drawn to him for reasons unexplainable. But when she gets to know Gansey and his group of Raven Boys, she gets to know them a little better.

Edit (07/15/16): I designed some phone wallpapers for the series! If you’re interested, you can check them out over here.

tsh1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Here’s the thing. If you know anything about me as a reader, you know that this book is my favorite book of all-time. It’s eerie, and creepy, and explores things like evil. Every character in this book is an anti-hero of sorts. The writing is to die for, and the characters are beyond realistic. The story is delicious, and everything is fantastic. I had never read anything like it before. So after turning the last page, I set out on a quest: to find something else like this book. I looked for over a year, and nothing came close to this. The books in most ‘similar to the Secret History‘ list were nothing like it. Until I stumbled across the Raven Boys. 

While reading the Raven Boys, I was strongly reminded of the Secret History. The atmosphere was similar- the relationships between the friends were similar. Gansey reminded me so much of Henry, while Adam reminded me of Richard. Noah was just like Francis, and Ronan was a better version of Charles. I devoured the Raven Boys because I felt like I was reading TSH all over again, and I loved that feeling. If you’re looking for something similar to the Raven Cycle, guys, read TSH. I thought I was the only one who felt the similarities, but Google it, and you’ll see I’m far from being the only one.

2. A Separate Peace by John Knowles

a separate peace

Although not supernatural or fantastical in nature whatsoever, this book has that eerie feel. Set in a college surrounding, focusing on revenge, friendship and betrayal, it’s an interesting read about what can go wrong when friends begin to compete. Think of it like this: what if Adam began to grow bitter towards Gansey? What would happen then? This book might tell you the answer.

3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman


Although the story or the setting of this book is NOTHING like the Raven Cycle, the writing is eerily similar. Stiefvater writes very whimsically, with attention to interesting minor details and distinct characters. Neil Gaiman is the same. I haven’t read anything else by him- maybe one of his other books resembles the Raven Cycle more, so this is more of an author recommendation than a book recommendation.

4. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll


This is a graphic novel that follows five short stories. It’s horrifying, and I mean that in the best way possible. Books don’t scare me. At all. But this graphic novel was creepy- the stories were all chilling, and the artwork was magnificent and the writing was phenomenal. I feel that if you appreciate the atmosphere set up in the Raven Cycle, you’d like the atmosphere set in this too.

5. The Diviners by Libba Bray

the diviners

The Diviners has a similar feel to the Raven Cycle. Some of the focus on the occult is similar. Even though Stiefvater has some whimsy to her writing, Libba Bray is more to-the-point, but the skill is there in both either way. The main character reminds me of Blue since they’re both feisty and bad-ass.

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


The writing. Laini Taylor has the same winding, quirky style as Maggie Stiefvater. I know a ton of people compare Laini Taylor’s writing to Tahereh Mafi’s, but I have to say- she’s more like Stiefvater than anyone else. They both have this tremendous control over their imagery; they both write vividly but with restraint, and I don’t think Mafi has that restraint yet.

7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

clockwork angel

Love the characterization in the Raven Cycle? You’d love the characterization in this series too. I do think this series is miles better than the Mortal Instruments, but I’d still suggest reading Clare’s books in order of publication, since that adds another layer to the series.

8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson


Very similar writing, with similar characterization, with some similar themes that readers of the Raven Cycle can appreciate.

Okay guys, that’s it. I think if it was any other book, I could have come up with at least 10, if not more than 10, but for this series- 8 is the best I can do. This series is brilliant and unique; the characterization is wonderful, the writing is lovely, and it gives you so many feels. I have no idea how this series is going to end, but I’m excited for the fourth book! I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope I got you interested in some of these books. 🙂


  1. I’m only about 23% into Shatter Me, but I have to agree with you that I don’t see many similarities to Laini Taylor’s writing. While Taylor’s metaphors and language work for me because everything is so beautiful, Mafi goes way too over the top for me until it just sounds forced and pretentious. It’s a bit all over the place and cringey.

    It’s interesting to see The Secret History on this list, it’s a book I’ve had on my nightstand forever because I’ve been meaning to read it but never quite gotten to it.

  2. Great list! I like how you made this week’s topic your own.
    I have The Raven Cycle on my TBR, but that’s growing longer by the minute so who knows when I will get to it. I have heard mixed reviews on it, but I do like a lot of the books that you suggested. So I’m hoping since I like those, that’s a good indication I will enjoy The Raven Boys.
    I also used The Secret History on my TTT list this week. That’s in my top 3 favorite books.
    I haven’t heard of Through the Woods. I’m compiling a spooky TBR for October, this may have to make the cut.
    Heres my TTT if you’re interested!

    • Thank you so very much!

      Really? I’ve actually never heard anything bad about the Raven Cycle, even though I would totally understand if people didn’t like it. The Secret History really is something marvelous; I read it early in 2014, and I’m still not over how good it was! Not enough people in my bookish circle have read it. 🙂 x

      • the Cuddlebuggery wrote a review that she did not enjoy it. I only skimmed it because it looked like it had a lot of detail and may contain spoilers. She had a lot of comments agreeing with her, but that’s the only negative review I’ve seen. I don’t think any of my friends have read TSH either! DId you read the Goldfinch? It’s a totally different feeling than TSH, but pretty awesome as well.

        • Yes, I have read the Goldfinch! I didn’t like it much- I thought it was a couple hundred pages too long. But Tartt is the queen of characterization and atmosphere, so I still enjoyed it enough. I recently read her ‘the Little Friend’ and I enjoyed that too, even though it’s literally about nothing. xD

  3. I love this list, mostly because I am a big fan of the Raven Cycle, and I’m also addicted to A Separate Peace and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I love all the recommendations, and I think I’ve read most of them but not The Secret History or The Diviners, so I think I’d pick them up soon. 🙂 What is the Secret History about?

    • If you’re a big fan of TRC, definitely try the Secret History. It’s the most similar one. I know a lot of people compare the two, but in a good way. I think Maggie Stirfvater said she even read TSH because of all the comparisons, and she freaking loved it. She wrote a review; if you Google that, you’ll probably find it.

      The book starts off with a bunch of people killing one of their group members, then leaving his body in the snow. XD It’s about this guy Richard who’s really into ancient Greek culture, and he goes to a remote college to study it. There he sees this elite, mysterious group of students (three guys and a girl) also in the ancient Greek program and he becomes determined to join their “group.” When he finally does get into the group, he realizes that they aren’t ordinary teenagers- and their friendship soon turns into something malicious and evil.

      It’s honestly the best book I’ve read. Very unique, very thrilling. The characters are all horrible people but you’re completely invested in them and the writing is… the best there is. Hope you give it a chance! x

  4. Have you read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt? Is The Secret History anything like it? Because I’ll be honest, I think The Goldfinch is a little bit overrated…. *shame* I think it was just about 200 pages longer than it needed to be. I felt like it tried too hard to be a work of art. So I’m scared to try reading Tartt again!

    • YES! I have read the Goldfinch, and I agree with you. It was super overrated, and it was way too long- there was a huge lull in the middle that didn’t need to be there!

      BUT. If the lack of action in the middle was the only thing that bothered you, you should DEFINITELY give the Secret History a go. If you enjoyed the writing and the super realistic characterization, you should give her another chance! I often tell people to read tSH before the Goldfinch because it’s just better, but since you’ve already read the latter, all I can do is urge you to read the former. xD And you really should- it’s a phenomenal book!

  5. I haven’t read The Raven Cycle yet but it’s at the TOP of my TBR right now. I really loved I’ll Give You The Sun and all the Shadowhunter books so I’m hopeful that I’ll love The Raven Cycle too.

    I really need to buy Daughter of Smoke and Bone… It’s been on my wishlist for way too long. And I should pick up some more Neil Gaiman too! Great recommendations!!


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