Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
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.
I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. I’ve told you all before about my love for Maggie Stiefvater’s books – meeting her in person for Sinner was such an awesome experience. So when I requested an e-ARC of Blue Lily, Lily Blue on Netgalley, I honestly wasn’t expecting to get it. Lets be real here. This is a tiny blog, I don’t get a ton of readers and Blue Lily, Lily Blue is a highly anticipated book. In fact, it debuted at #10 this past week on the New York Times bestseller list! So when I got the email that I had been approved, I lost it. Happy dancing and lots of squealing happened. And I’m so happy to say that it more than lived up to my excitement.
BLLB starts us off right where The Dream Thieves ended. School is starting, and all of the gang is trying to figure out how to fit their regular lives back into the search for Glendower. Blue’s mother is still missing, and all they have to go on is a cryptic note. The Grey Man is still living in Henrietta, but it seems that trouble is set to find him as well, as his old employer turns up unexpectedly in a position very close to the Raven Boys. And just when it seems that they are getting so close to finding Glendower, more obstacles stand in the way. It seems there are now three sleepers, and it is vitally important that one of them is not woken.
It’s really hard to get into a review of this book without getting spoilery, and you know how much I hate spoilers. So instead of talking about the details of the book, I’ll get into some more vague things that I love about these books. BLLB is decidedly creepier than the last two. The paranormal aspects that have run throughout the story take a more sinister aspect here and reading this at night, I was definitely checking that the front door was locked, not that that would help. But part of what I love about the paranormal parts of this book is that they’re woven so intricately into the fabric of Henrietta and the Raven Boys world. Magic itself isn’t good or bad, just another force of nature that can be bent a certain way according to the person using or influencing it. And Adam is now connected to the magic of Cabeswater in an inescapable way. He can feel what it needs, even if the lines of communication often get tangled between Cabeswater’s wishes and Adam’s understanding of what he needs to do. When I dreamed of magic as a child, I thought of magic this way, as another part of the world. Not something that needed potions or spells necessarily, but as an extra awareness of the world, thoroughly interconnected into the fabric of reality. And this book completely exemplifies that concept.
I really loved the bigger portion of the book that was spent on Adam’s point of view. Adam has such a difficult role in the Raven Boys and it was so satisfying to see him realize that he wasn’t as alone as he thought in the group. And can I say, I love and totally ship Ronan and Adam. They are my absolute favorite and I would be so happy to see them get together. They’re both broken in different ways and understand each other in a way that the others don’t. And speaking of relationships, Blue and Gansey breaks my heart. Reading BLLB, there’s a part that shows a vulnerability in Gansey that the rest hadn’t seen before and I LOVED IT. Gansey has sometimes been my least favorite character in the Raven Cycle, as a lot of the time he can come off as a pompous ass. This book made Gansey so much more likeable for me. I always knew that he had as many issues as the rest of them, but this book really allowed the others to see him as fallible too.
What really cements all of Maggie Stievater’s books into spots as my favorite books is that they are so character-driven. I get so deeply invested into each character – what they want and need, their fears and loves. And the reason I’m so invested is the writing. I still haven’t come across another writer whose books have such a distinct ‘voice’ to them. I pick up one of her books and immediately know she is the author. Even though these are young adult books, she doesn’t dumb down the language or write simply. Every word is chosen for a purpose and the overall effect is lyrical and beautiful.
This review definitely got a little longer than I was anticipating, but I always feel like I have so much to say about her books, although i’m not sure any of that made sense! If you haven’t had the chance to read any of her books, I can’t recommend them enough. They’re haunting and beautiful and they grab hold of your heart and don’t let go. Start with The Raven Boys and don’t look back.