Off the Shelf: A Review of Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Well, I did it. I managed to complete all three Raven Cycle books just in time for the release of the final book – The Raven King (which will be out April 26th). I thought that life might steal this book away from me, as I’ve had a lot of extra work here lately on top of dealing with some ongoing health problems, but I triumphed. Book #3 of the Raven Cycle – Blue Lily, Lily Blue – is setting up some major events for the grand finale so let’s jump right in to the good stuff…

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)

There 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.

Things I Liked:

Ronan. Always and forever, Ronan. This book picks up right where Dream Thieves left off, and that’s where I began my real love of Ronan’s character. In this book, every one of my favorite scenes involved Ronan, and even Blue is starting to see him in a new light.

“Ronan’s arms were still locked around her; she felt them quivering. She didn’t know if it was from muscle strain or worry. He had not even hesitated before grabbing her.
I can’t let myself forget that.

The building of the relationships. We’ve got a lot more Blue and Gansey moments that are really sweet and tender without breaking Blue’s kiss-me-kill-you boundary. Even separately, Blue and Gansey stick out to me as highlights in this book. Blue’s feminist fights and her interactions with Jesse Dittley were really amusing, and Gansey became truly believable to me through his panic attack. It’s nice getting to see him more vulnerable. Then there’s the fact that we now get to examine Ronan’s every interaction with Adam through the lens of knowing Adam is his secret, which I rabidly fangirled over throughout the book. There are so many little moments in their jokes and their fights that I swear Adam would HAVE to know there’s something there. Maggie has promised us two kisses in the last book of the cycle, so my bets are on the fact that, if Adam doesn’t already know – he’s about to.

Also, can I just say how absolutely terrified/excited/conflicted I feel about how adamant Maggie Stiefvater is about killing Gansey? This is one quote out of several I’ve seen from her where she’s absolutely overjoyed at how Gansey meets his end. Can we please just hope that his “death” isn’t final? Maybe some sort of trick/miracle similar to Harry’s death in Deathly Hallows? Please? PLEASE, Maggie?!

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Things I Didn’t Like:

A lack of Maura and the other ladies of 300 Fox Way. I really truly missed Maura in this book. She wasn’t my favorite of the psychics (that’s Persephone), but without Maura around, the main three (Maura, Persephone, and Calla) just aren’t complete, and therefore not the same. I truly missed her banter with Blue, the Gray Man, and with her other family. It didn’t really sit well with me that after the cliffhanger end of Dream Thieves where all we know is Maura has vanished leaving only a note that she is underground, no one does anything. Like, really. For quite some time – nothing. I’m pretty sure that if any member of my family decided to just disappear without an adequate explanation of where they were going, when they’d be back, and why they were doing this, I’d be starting a search party. Sure, there’s some concern among the other characters about Maura’s safety and intentions, but it takes some time before they really start looking. It just didn’t feel very real to me, especially from Blue’s perspective.

Pacing. So, when it’s a trilogy we’re talking about, most people say that the second book is generally the one for character building and placing more groundwork for the big finale. Raven Cycle isn’t a trilogy. The fourth and final book comes out later this month. But I can honestly say that book three of Raven Cycle feels more like book two in any trilogy. It’s a bit slow. Sure, things happen. Gwenllian is found and awakened(ish), but we still don’t really know what role she’s going to play in the awakening of her father. She’s just sort of hopping around, speaking in riddles, and generally driving everyone (including the reader) a little bit nuts. There’s Greenmantle and his wife, Piper, around trying to keep things interesting, but I’m really more intrigued by Piper than her husband. Seems like she’ll be making a play for power in the next book, so I’ll be interested to see how that goes. Overall though, this book was much slower than the others in the series. I found it harder to stay wrapped up in it, and it took me a bit longer to get into.

The Death. I’ll keep that part spoiler free, but trust me, I’m still recovering. I understand why it happened, I just wish it had happened in a better way. Just as Blue said, it was just so sudden.

I miss Noah. I feel like he was barely there in this book…which might make sense since his physical appearances are dependent on the ley lines. But come on, he makes all the darkness just a little bit lighter, and things are getting pretty dark for our boys and Blue.

Overall Rating:

I’ve still got so much love for this series. Despite this book being slower than the others, a lot of things had to happen to set up the last book, and it was still a great ride watching the characters grow. I’m giving it a 4/5. The Raven King will be out later this month, and I fully expect it to be an explosive ending to this fabulous series.

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The real reason it took so long to finish this book.

 

Purchase Blue Lily, Lily Blue (via Amazon)
Purchase Blue Lily, Lily Blue (via Barnes & Noble)
Add Blue Lily, Lily Blue to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads

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