Reading Notes: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

the raven boys - maggie stiefvater - book cover - the raven cycle

I purchased my copy of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater one day last October when I was feeling really, really down. I’d heard many positive (read: raving) reviews on Tumblr, and I figured what better pick-me-up can I get for $5.99 without leaving my bed than a Kindle copy of a YA fantasy novel where you can ship pretty much all configurations of the characters?

(YA and fanfiction have long been my escapist self-care of choice. Sometimes self-care is brushing your teeth; sometimes it’s reading Drarry fic. I was having a really bad day when I sprung for The Raven Boys.)

Anyway, the short of it is that I, too, am now a raving fan of The Raven Boys. (A raven fan? Please stop me.) It’s fun and easy to read, a little bit creepy, and a lotta bit NOW KISS!!! What more could I ask for?!

If it’s any testament to how much I liked it, I

  1. paced myself and read it over several weeks because I didn’t want it to end
  2. still haven’t read the second installment in the series, because I know I’m going to become obsessed with it to the point of total distraction

If you like your YA fantasy with boarding school uniforms and unresolved sexual tension up the wazoo, check out my reading notes, after the jump.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

VOCABULARY

 

lych-gaten. – (also lychgate, lichgate, lycugate, lyke-gate, or lych gate) a gateway covered with a roof found at the entrance to a traditional English or English-style churchyard

quiddityn. – whatever makes something the type that it is

asafetidan. – (also known as devil’s dung, asant, food of the gods, jowani badian, and stinking gum) dried latex exuded from the rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula; a standard component of Indian cuisine, particularly in lentil curries such as dal; considered a digestive in that it reduces flatulence; one of the five pungent vegetables generally avoided by Buddhist vegetarians

timorousadj. – of a timid disposition

Pollyannan. – an excessively cheerful or optimistic person (from the eponymous 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter)

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

QUOTES & EXCERPTS (full of spoilers)

 

Blue, trying to clip all of the various bits of her dark hair back into a vestigial ponytail,

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Still, surely she could have guessed from the massive stone great hall and the parking lot full of cars that spoke German that it wasn’t the sort of school that they could afford. “It’s an all-boys school. For politicians’ sons and oil barons’ sons and for” — Blue struggled the think of who else might be rich enough to send their kids to Aglionby — “the sons of mistresses living off hush money.”

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

lounged against the Camaro, absently biting one of the leather straps on his wrist.

[Sam’s note: You can just hear the fanfiction writing itself.]

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Her dark hair was cut in a bob, long enough to plausibly pull back but short enough that it required an assembly of clips to do so successfully. The end result was a spiky, uneven ponytail populated by escaped chunks and mismatched clips; it looked eccentric and unkempt. Blue had worked hard to get it that way.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

the latter bristled with latent power as he greeted people with the slippery, handsome accent of old Virginia money.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

It was a voice that reported tornado damage and cold fronts. Narrated side effects of small blue pills. Explained the safety procedures of this 747 we’re flying in today.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Both of them could trot out logic on a nice little leash, wearing a smart plaid jacket, when they wanted to.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

As Ronan unsteadily climbed to his feet, the raven hunched down in his hands, becoming all beak and body, no neck.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Both of Whelk’s girlfriends left him. Well, the second one was technically Czerny’s, so perhaps that didn’t count.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

he had the overpowering chemical scent of a manly shower gel. The sort that normally came in a black bottle and was called something like SHOCK or EXCITE or BLUNT TRAUMA.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

She couldn’t tell if he was actually tremendously good-looking or merely tremendously wealthy.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

He smelled like summer and cheap shampoo. She felt a tickle go all the way from her belly button to her feet.

“I’ve flown once,” he replied.

His breath was hot on her skin. Blue was paralyzed; all she could think was This is how close a kiss is. It felt every bit as dangerous as she’d imagined.

[Sam’s note: I’m living for this UST!!!]

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

“I’m going to need everyone to be straight with each other from now on. No more games. This isn’t just for Blue, either. All of us.”

Ronan said, “I’m always straight.”

Adam replied, “Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told.”

[Sam’s note: I fuckin’ love this.]

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Gansey looked up to them, and she saw in his face that he loved this place. His bald expression held something new: not the raw delight of finding the ley line or the sly pleasure of teasing Blue. She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness. It was the way she felt when she looked at the stars.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Blue tried not to look at Gansey’s boat shoes; she felt better about him as a person if she pretended he wasn’t wearing them.

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

Eventually he dragged one of the boxes a few inches from the window and gestured for Blue to sit beside him. She did. Adam readjusted his posture so that he was more settled; his knee bone pressed against Blue’s. He was not looking at her, but there was something about his posture that betrayed his awareness of her. She swallowed.

[Sam’s note: LIVING FOR THIS UST!!!]

»» — — — ¤ — — — ««

When the side of Adam’s head hit the railing, it was a catastrophe of light.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.