Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle)
The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.
Reviewed: 2018-01-25There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.
The Raven Cycle is a series that once you are in, you get hooked. So it didn't matter how much I restrained myself from getting this one too soon before the next and final one coming in May, in the end I caved and got this. I knew I would regret it, but not so much. Blue Lily, Lily Blue blueew me away and left me hungry for more. The book starts a month after Maura's disappearance, and the raven gang is more intent on finding Glendower, since Blue's mother kind of went in the same place to look for Artemus (Blue's father), the ley lines. The ley lines themselves are a dangerous place, along with Cabeswater, which is more like a ferocious puppy that is barely under control.
Each of the gang's lives is intertwined with Cabeswater. Adam is it eyes and hands, and he has been learning how to better listen to it, but there is also an underlying layer of fear of the power of Cabeswater. His childhood has made it difficult for him to accept kindness, and we see big character growth for him in this installment. He is also aware of Ronan's feelings for him, which makes me eager for how that will be resolved in the next. Ronan, meanwhile, comes out with his secret - the one that was right under our noses, but we didn't see. That secret drives me to delve more into his Greywaren powers, because he can't see that his creations suffer the same fate as Aurora.
On the Blue and Gansey front, they are still continuing with the facade of hiding their feelings in front of others. Blue's fear of her curse, as well as the prophecy about Gansey doesn't make for a stable romance, but the moments between them are genuine and fraught with tension. I was afraid she might lose her personality in the relationship, but my fears were irrational. If anything, she is more fierce now that the stakes are higher, and she is practically a force of nature. She also discovers the truth about her 'powers' and her name, and I must say, that was a delicious reveal. Persephone and Calla have been hiding a lot of things, or perhaps they didn't know the whole truth?
Noah continues his dead boy existence, and it's cute how he fits so well with them. There are three new characters introduced, Gwenllian, Colin & Piper Greenmantle, and each of them are hilariously crazy. The things about the dichotomy of good and evil in the Raven Cycle is that it doesn't truly exist. It's just gradations over the spectrum, and honestly I couldn't even pinpoint who is the true antagonist, except perhaps Neeve (yeah, she is totes evil). Overall, the relationships between the characters drives the plot majorly, and how splendidly they are rendered. You have the raven gang, practically a close knit family, with Gansey's fatherlike concern over Ronan, Blue and Ronan being the squabling siblings, Noah and Blue being adorable, Ronan and Adam being the dynamic dream duo and saving the day. Just about everything in this series is perfect!
Reviewed: 2017-12-07Initial Impressions 9/14/14: Oh hell. Now I just need the rest. This is worse than when I finished The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves.
WELL that was fun. Lots of FEELS, lots of OMG moments. But the wait for book four is going to be excruciating.
Full review posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 10/13/14: I actually had to wait a while after I finished BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE before I could form coherent thoughts (well, coherent enough to start actually writing a review). I waited until Nikki was reading so I could re-live the book through her because HOW was I supposed to write a review about this book? I really loved THE RAVEN BOYS and I fell in love with THE DREAM THIEVES, but absolutely everything in BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE was really stepped up a notch. My feels SKYROCKTED for just about every character and I was absolutely blown away by the things that went down in this book.
The character development for this book is out of this world. I absolutely love getting to know these characters more and more with each book I read in this series and of course, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE was no exception to that. I think one of my favorite things is how complicated the relationship is amongst the friend group of Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah — that sounds like it’d be a negative thing, but it’s really not. It’s complicated because they really all are such a tight knit group that it’s like they become one entity. They always have each other’s backs, no matter the situation. They have such strong feelings for each other that they become so reliant on each person in the group and I love witnessing those bonds of friendship grown and strengthen with each book, and I’m so glad Nikki screen-capped this to me as she was reading because I had temporarily forgotten about it! (There is actually WAY more to that paragraph that adds to the LOVE but it’s long and you should read it for yourself :D)
Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want any other.
BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE sure had its share of “OMG moments” too. The book is chock full of FEELS of all kinds — rage, excitement, fear, passion, suspense, confusion, love. I was basically on an emotion-high the whole book. I loved how many new ideas were introduced as well as how elements from book one are still being built up. Maggie Stiefvater is excellent at prolonging suspense and maintaining mystery and as much as I’m DYING for answers, I’m still loving the fact that I don’t know everything yet. Maggie is also fantastic at “atmospheric writing” (is that a thing or did I just make that term up? I’m sure there’s a real term. Someone correct me!) — she has a knack for describing characters and emotions and situations without having to directly spell everything out. She creates a mood and a setting that takes the characters and the reader where they need to be and I just love being able to feel the book.
The mythology, fantasy, and paranormal aspects of the story all get a great boost in this book too. There were hints in book one, explanations in book two, and EVENTS in book three. The explorations — both literally and figuratively — of these supernatural players really drive the plot forward in BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE, leading to some answers but even more questions too. Their presence floored me in many ways at many times and I cannot wait to see the reactions from readers as they discover them along with the characters!
Overall, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE was absolutely a homerun for me. I absolutely loved every second of it and I already want to re-read it. I’ll probably have to re-read the whole series so far before book four comes out (to refresh my memory and just to enjoy them all again, especially knowing what I now know) and I am a ball of nerves until I get to read the next book! The wait will be long but no doubt worth it!
Re-read completed 10/6/17:
Reviewed: 2016-02-06This book was even harder to put down than the first two. Sometimes in series's the first book is the best and the rest of the books kind of stink, but not with this series. The books just keeping getting better and better. Ronan has become a likable character now. Still gruff and hard around the edges, but likable. Adam is more scary. Gansey is even more amazing, and Blue is the same. By which I mean she hasn't lost any of her awesomeness throughout the series. I will say if I don't get a Gansey/Blue kiss soon I will die.
Highly enjoyable, of course. Needs more Ronan.
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