The Raven Cycle Reread: 1.35

Summary:

Just like the last time all of our main characters gathered in the Fox Way kitchen, everything is fraught and nobody is happy. We have several categories of bean that we have to deal with: Adam, the precious bean, making tea even though he has to keep asking where everything is. Ronan, the nervous bean, aggressively pacing the length of the kitchen. And Gansey, the injured bean, sitting at the kitchen table with his thumb in a splint, looking helpless. I love all types of bean indiscriminately and so does Blue, which makes this moment tender and also sweet.

Everyone is also a little stunned that their Latin teacher had the balls to almost shoot Gansey, but Blue is the only one who takes the time to look at Gansey’s face for a little longer.

Gansey’s eyes were different. She spent a minute too long trying to figure out what was different—it was a combination, she decided, between them being a little brighter and the skin around them a little tighter.

We find out later that this isn’t a commentary on emotions but rather the fact that Blue didn’t notice Gansey was wearing wire-framed glasses. It kind of invalidates all of the analysis I was about to write, but imagining Gansey in glasses is cute so I’ll let it slide. Moving on!

Everyone’s mad at Neeve because she’s technically doing Barrington Whelk’s bidding. Yes, that Barrington Whelk, the one that killed Noah and tried to kill Gansey and is just a huge asshole in general. All the accusatory statements made in a row by Maura make this scene feel a little bit like that Thanksgiving episode of Friends, where Joey wants to show the hot dancers the new world and Phoebe’s in love with Jacques Gusteau. Nobody wants to be in that kitchen but nobody can leave, you know?

Blue makes it even more awkward by bringing up Butternut (which is, apparently, what we’ll be calling her father for the foreseeable future). Maura’s upset because she thinks Blue will be upset, but Blue’s just pissed that her mother kept all of this from her. Meanwhile, Gansey is doing the Lord’s work by providing a little bit of comedy to the situation:

 “How do you know I wouldn’t have just been happy with the truth? I don’t care if my father was a deadbeat named Butternut. It doesn’t change anything right now.”  

“His name wasn’t really Butternut, was it?” Gansey asked Adam in a low voice.

Neeve brings us back on track by trying to convince the group she’s blameless, but they’re having none of it. Gansey brings up the fact that Maura refused to tell him about the ley line, to which Maura is like, yeah, good point. They shake down the plot of the whole book into a couple sentences, with wry interjections from Adam and Ronan, before Neeve reaches the conclusion that they should go perform the ritual and wake the ley line up.

The fact that it requires a sacrifice of sorts doesn’t seem to bother her; the search for Glendower is a zero sum game that Barrington Whelk needs to lose. And Persephone corroborates that by saying the ley line will be woken in the next few days anyway, so it might as well be them who do it.

Gansey’s caught up in the unknowns: does someone have to die? If they don’t have to die, what will they offer? Will it tie them to the ley line like Noah’s spirit? Wouldn’t it just be easier to stop Whelk from doing the ritual and tell the police where Cabeswater is?

That is universally shot down as the worst idea ever, and Gansey knows before he says it. But he’s tired and he just broke his thumb and the world is being so much uglier and meaner than he believes it to be.

Several exasperated faces turned on Gansey. Maura said, “Well, he’s not going to go away because you don’t want to deal with him.”

“I didn’t say it was possible,” Gansey replied, not looking up from his splint. “I just said that it was what I would like.”

It was a naïve answer, and he knew it.

This is the point at which I was screaming at the book, WHY DOES EVERYONE FORGET THAT HE IS A CHILD???? But of course they do, and it hits me right where it hurts every time.

The chapter ends with Gansey and his king-like call to action, and Blue looking her mother directly in the eyes while she disobeys her. It’s a badass moment, and I never want it to end.

Thoughts and Feelings:

So, here we are. Barrington Whelk is on the lam (don’t blame me for that phrasing, blame Ronan). Blue saw Gansey’s splinted thumb and discovered she has a thing for injured rich boys. Ronan’s out for blood. Everyone knows what they have to do. It’s time to set the plan in motion, wake up the ley line, and set the magic loose!

I’m ready for the magic to be set loose. I’m waiting. Let’s go, guys. Let’s move on to the next chapter! I don’t want to have thoughts and/or feelings about this one, I’m revved up! And no, this isn’t me being lazy and skipping this part of the post, it’s me being EXCITED! FOR MORE RAVEN BOYS! So to get this over with:

Thoughts: mmmm good chapter very nice, good moments with the bois

Feelings: I’M FEELING EXCITED AND STRESSED AND STRESS-EXCITED:0

Best Character Moment:

“Could someone cut this hospital bracelet off?” he asked. There was something gallant and hectic about the deliberately offhand way he asked it. “I feel like an invalid. Please”

Best Turn of Phrase:

“NO.”

Both Neeve and Maura said it at once. Neeve, however, won for overall impressiveness by pairing her outburst with leaping from her chair.

Action: This is the rising action. Please put the narrative bread dough in the narrative proving drawer and lets go KILL SOME LATIN TEACHERS!!!! 6/10

Magic: I mean, everyone was in the same room. That feels about as magical as you can get. 8/10

Comic relief: The Raven boys playing the straight men to Fox Way’s shenanigans will never not be hilarious. 9/10

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