The Ravens / Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige / Book Review


Freshman Vivi Devereaux knows that college is her chance to escape. Finally, she can leave her paranoid, tarot-card reading mother behind and start a new life. She can make a home for herself. She can make friends. And what better way to weave herself into campus life than by pledging the infamously tight-knit Kappa Rho Nu sorority?

Kappa Rho Nu isn't your average sorority. The sisters of Kappa Rho Nu, called the Ravens, guard their sorority's secrets with their lives--literally. After all, witches have to keep to themselves or else. Anyone remember the witch trials? Junior Scarlett Winter is in charge of this year's pledge class, and she vows to do her best to shepherd Vivi and her fellow freshman in the ways of the Ravens. If she does a good job, Scarlett knows there will be nothing standing between her and the sorority presidency next year.

But Scarlett has a secret, a secret she has kept hidden since her own freshman year, and with her nosy Little Vivi at her side, she finds it harder and harder to keep things under wraps. If her secret gets out, its not just her bid for the presidency that will be at risk...



Witchy Worldbuilding Morgan and Paige build a campus life that is witchy in all the right ways. There are tarot cards and rhyming spells galore. The pledges pour through leather-bound grimoires and find burning effigies on the lawn. The sisters shop for crystals, brew potions in the kitchen, and build bedroom altars for their spells. All the witch paraphernalia that someone could want makes its way into this book. The building blocks are right: a group of young, inexperienced witches learning the craft from their sorority sisters/coven of mentor witches is just good, supernatural fun.

Scarlett As a lead, Scarlett is incredibly dynamic. She is both emotional and appropriately stoic. She is struggling with a world that is, for once, shifting around her against her will--a feeling that should be all too familiar for anyone surviving the year 2020. Scarlett is an overall complex character, the perfect protagonist for this book. It is a shame that she is the only complex, well-rounded character in the book. She deserves a better cast of supporting characters than the one she was given in this book.

Guilt and Grief Laced through the pages of this book, and in Scarlett's character, is a sense of intermingled guilt and grief. This sorority is not unfamiliar with death, and they are certainly not unfamiliar with secrets. Mingling the unspeakable with the tragic creates a certain tension for Scarlett's character that adds a new dimension to the overall plot.


I didn't do any research into who contributed to what in this book, so I can't substantiate my claims. However, this book very much reads like the authors switched off chapters and characters--in a bad way. There was a noticeable difference between the prose in Vivi's chapters and Scarlett's chapters. The writing felt far less polished when reading in Vivi's perspective than in Scarlett's. Scarlett had a greater sense of voice. Vivi just felt like... something that was written down, I guess. The writing styles didn't match, and the clash made it difficult at times to keep reading--or at least to read without skipping chapters from the alternate perspective. Inconsistent Prose

Every time a new character was introduced in this book, the first thing mentioned was skin color. Yet the dynamic of color, race, and/or ethnicity wasn't explored at all in this world. There is definitely no need to make every book with people of color about the struggle of being a person of color. However, having color thrown out first thing and then forgotten made it feel cheap--like the mention of color was simply to hit some sort of diversity check box and nothing more. The over-reliance on skin color as an introduction was often cringe-inducing, and introducing all characters in the same way is just bad form in general. Sororities and fraternities are notoriously white, and so the inclusion of so many women of color could have been a way to build up Kappa Rho Nu's history as something more than a sorority--that is, as a coven. As it was, it just didn't work. Token Diversity

This book was so full of potential that was all so horribly wasted. This book is set in haunted Savannah, Georgia, but it is almost entirely lacking in any Southern charm. I was hoping for a good, creepy, Southern-Gothic feel to the work, but aside from some Spanish moss, there's none of that. Vivi could have been a great second lead. She doesn't know she's a witch coming in. She gets introduced to the world of magic and covens, to the witchy ingredients and rituals--all so exciting, right? Yet Vivi is an incredibly bland character. Her portion of this novel could have been all about bonding with her fellow witches, learning magic, and growing as a witch herself, but instead, her sections felt almost pointless and definitely forgettable. As a book set on a college campus, this novel potentially borders on New Adult instead of Young Adult, and yet the prose feels entirely too juvenile--too juvenile, even, for a good young adult book. It could have been set in a boarding school instead of on a college campus with little difference to the plot. It was too juvenile in tone for any potential as a crossover novel. Overall, all the pieces were right for a great new addition to witch lore, but none of the pieces fit together. It is such a shame! Wasted Potential



Anyone who enjoyed the Gothic South as presented in Kami Garcia's Beautiful Creatures should check out this new coven of Southern witches. Those who enjoyed discovering the under-our-noses hidden world of magic in Cassandra Clare's City of Bones should check out this sorority of real witches.


Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date: November 3, 2020
Series: The Ravens
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  1. Wasted potential is the worst kind.

    1. I agree with what you said, about wasted potential being the worst kind. I also think that


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