Review: “Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Raven Cycle #3)” by Maggie Stiefvater

17378508Title: “Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Raven Cycle #3)”

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA, magical realism, contemporary, AWESOME

Source: ARC from publisher

Publication Date: October 21, 2014 (Scholastic – North America)

Summary: 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.

☆: 5/5 stars – SO MANY FEELS YOU GUYS.

Review: Guys, I just…I can’t even with this series anymore. But in a good way. So much heartbreak, but it feels so good. This book (which I guess, is kind of a middle book? out of four?) just proves Stiefvater’s prowess and her unstoppability in terms of keeping a story going with no loss from when you put down the previous book and start the next. With the plot getting crazier, more puzzle pieces falling together, and more doom and gloom gathering, “Blue Lily” is an AWESOME addition to the series, and it makes me hanker for book four even more. Trust me. You want this book.

Where to start? There’s so much in this book that gets further developed – but I think the universal themes (humanizing the aloof character in the main cast, economic inequality) here get the best treatment aside of Stiefvater blowing my mind with the connections she makes between Blue, her family, the Boys, and Cabeswater. We get even deeper into character development (I didn’t think this was possible, but it happened), as well as a new character that’s not only hilarious, but scary as hell towards the end of this installment.

The relationships. This is also a big one – everyone seems to be losing someone else. Noah is disappearing (even more), Adam and Gansey are at odds, Adam and Ronan are suddenly bffs, and of course, Blue’s missing mother and how Blue is trying to cope with that. Gansey’s kind of the odd man out, and while Blue is trying to swim through her grief to be with him, it just kind of…doesn’t really happen. She tries, I’ll give you that, and the old maxim about killing one’s darlings to get the best possible emotional payoff in your story? Well, Stiefvater MURDERS those darlings repeatedly. And it just hurts so good. The monsters are more humanized, the humans are more monsterized, and it’s all beautifully rendered in a way that makes me really jealous.

There’s also the worldbuilding – it makes me want Cabeswater to be real, for all of the things and places that Ronan dreams up to be real, for me to be able to go to all of these places. Stiefvater seems to only be getting better at her external worldbuilding with each book and that’s something that brings me great joy. She’s always been good at it in her other works, but for some reason, this series really seems to be making her push herself to immerse the reader as much as possible. With the internal worldbuilding going on for pretty much all the characters going on all at once, she also keeps that neat and tidy, and I didn’t once have to re-read to figure out what was going on (see: relationships above). The internal worldbuilding was definitely at its best in this volume, and the tension is building for that last volume to see who goes against each other, and what happens with Cabeswater and our crew at the end.

The new characters? Awesome. I’m glad we finally get to see Gansey’s professor, and a certain new character that I talked about before that I have the feeling will play a significant part in the crescendo of this series. The inclusion of those two characters really helped filled out the world and fill in some answers we’d been searching for since book one. But with that, more questions still arise. Nicely played, Stiefvater.

Final verdict? “Blue Lily” was everything I’d been waiting and hoping for for in a third book for the “Raven Cycle”. For the Raven fans out there, I don’t think you’re going to be disappointed in the least. “Blue Lily” is out now from Scholastic in North America, and this is one release you definitely CANNOT miss.

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