Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #90: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #90: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie StiefvaterBlue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Published by Scholastic on October 21, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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four-stars

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.

Recommended by: Stephen Whiting

I’m all caught up on The Raven Cycle, just in time for the tortuous wait for the fourth book. Wait, why did I binge it now and not when the series was complete? Why did I think this was a good idea? CURSES. Blue Lily, Lily Blue wasn’t really what I was expecting. It’s much calmer than The Dream Thieves, dreamier.

The whole series has been dreamy and whimsical of course. Blue Lily, Lily Blue was the slowest of The Raven Cycle books for me. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, mind you, but this one didn’t have the same menace as the others. It’s quiet, the dangers coming at unanticipated times and unexpected directions. The villain is less clear.

I’m trying to think of how to put my feeling of this book into words. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is like the calm before the storm, perhaps, or the intake of breath before a scream. It’s deceptively calm. In some ways, Blue Lily, Lily Blue reminds me of an epic fantasy, as it gears up for the major confrontation to begin. The pace is a bit slower and, for much of the book, it feels like nothing much is really happening. Pieces are moving, but it’s unclear to what end. Things come together in the end, as expected, but with this book I found I had difficulty, when talking to friends, saying what had happened up to that point.

The Raven Boys had a clear, albeit slightly simplistic, menace. With The Dream Thieves, the villain was much harder to discern. Now in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, it’s very difficult to tell where the danger is coming from. The obvious candidate for villain is Colin Greenmantle, arrived to be the new Latin teacher (I swear this post is like Defense Against the Dark Arts). He sent a hit man to find the Greywaren, after all. And yet. Then there’s the mysterious third sleeper, but he is asleep. That sort of sums up Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I think.

There’s very little action in this one. That’s the real difference. In the previous two, there was a lot of punching and explosions, but Blue Lily, Lily Blue lacks these things. Ronan’s somewhat calmed in the wake of the events of The Dream Thieves and not picking fights the way he used to do. The only truly action-packed scenes come right at the very end. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the book of unrealized sexual tension and of questioning motivations. As the search for Glendower nears its conclusion, Blue and her boys have to confront what it is they truly want to ask as favor. The focus here is on internal matters primarily, but even here they’re not huge life-shattering alterations but consideration of what’s most important.

Now I’ll try to talk to the cast, because if I haven’t manage to clarify the overall feeling of Blue Lily, Lily Blue yet, I’m not going to. I’m also switching back to talking about them than to them, which is a sign that I wasn’t quite as emotionally connected this time.

The Ladies of 300 Fox Way: *hugs* GUH. There’s really nothing I can say about my thoughts here without the spoiler tags. View Spoiler »

Blue: Hot damn, girl. This is the novel where I finally learn to love Blue. I didn’t dislike Blue, but she was always sort of nebulous to me. In Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Blue is forced to make a lot more choices for herself and to take action alone. Previously, she was always able to lean on Gansey or Maura or Adam, but now she really has to figure out who she is. View Spoiler » Blue’s finally getting to show her mettle.

Gansey: As I predicted, Gansey’s really different in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. Suddenly, he’s not really the leader. He hardly makes any choices in this novel. It’s a really interesting turn for his character. So close to finding Glendower, he’s fraught with indecision. He’s not sure what he wants or what he’ll do when he’s completed his quest. All of a sudden, he’s relying on everyone else where they used to rely on him. As a result, this is the book where all the others are getting a chance to shine. Gansey’s not sure what to do with himself in his search or with Blue. There, too, he’s torn between his feelings for her and the feelings of the rest of the group and her curse.

View Spoiler »

Adam & Ronan: Yeah, I’m combining them because they are the best ship in the history of ships. Well, pretty close. They are definitely on my list of mental OTPs (because one is not enough) anyway. All praise Maggie for this ship. View Spoiler » On a plot side, I think that the resolution of Adam’s family issues was perfection. I think he’s finally coming out of his stubborn independence and learning that he can be independent while still relying on people. He may finally be ready to truly love and I am excited for that. Ronan’s a bit changed as well. After resolving his family troubles as much as possible, he’s calmer and much more focused on Adam. He’s not striking out with blind rage anymore; he’s showing his soft, caring, thoughtful side a whole lot more. Of course, he’s still a bit of an asshole, but no one would want him any other way, because he just wouldn’t be Ronan.

The ending was intense. I need book four immediately and I think it’s probably going to be my favorite one, because all of the subtle movements of Blue Lily, Lily Blue were to set the last book up for maximum feels destruction and plot like whoa. So far as this book goes, I suspect that on a reread, I’ll find all the feels here and regret the four star rating, but, for now, that’s how I feel.

Favorite Quote:

Blue asked, “What kind of job are we talking about here anyway? Like, a job where we pull a salary and at the end we get our faces put up on the wall of a magical forest with Most Valuable Employee of the Epoch?”

“A job like, at the end of it, everything settles into balance and we all live happily the damn ever after.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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7 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #90: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. Gillian says:

    ” Blue Lily, Lily Blue is like the calm before the storm, perhaps, or the intake of breath before a scream.”

    SO VERY THIS

    “Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the book of unrealized sexual tension and of questioning motivations” hdfilasfgdliadsugfladfsgs

    300 FOX WAY LADIES SO HEARTBREAKING GAH GAH GAHHHH

    I ALSO COMPLETELY ADORED . HILARIOUS. AND SPEAKING VERY MANY TRUTHS THAT ARE LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND

    RADAM MORE LIKE HOT DAMN AMIRITE (well, I wish)

    THE ENDING AIFUHSDFH:

    yeah. soooo book 4 is so going to be the best but it will also break us and I am not prepared hold me
    Gillian recently posted…Book Haul, or the One in Which I Ardently Admire and Love YouMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I felt so melodramatic and metaphorical writing that, but sometimes they are needed.

      YESSSS. GWENLLIAN WAS OFF HER ROCKER BUT SO MUCH FUN.

      RADAM. AHAHAHAHA. That’s so funny for some reason. Dear Maggie, I don’t care what else happens in book four, but please let them sex. This is all I ask.

      My body is not ready but also it would like to try right now.

  2. Meg says:

    HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE AGONIZING ABYSS THAT IS THE WAIT FOR THE LAST BOOK I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY.

    “It’s much calmer than The Dream Thieves, dreamier.” <—- such agree

    "In some ways, Blue Lily, Lily Blue reminds me of an epic fantasy, as it gears up for the major confrontation to begin." <—- THIS THIS THIS! I also agree this is the slowest of the books. More than any other, I felt like this was the set up book. While things happen, the most major outcome is that all of the pieces have been put in place for an epic finale (*whimpers* *cries* *hides* *gnaws on nails* *tears hair* *generally freaks the fuck out*)

    "(I swear this post is like Defense Against the Dark Arts)" <—- much lolery, such truth, very agree

    "the book of unrealized sexual tension" <—— GUUUHHHHHHH SUCH TRUTH VERY AGREE

    300 Fox Way spoiler: *weeping* Maggie got me too

    Blue: I fucking adore Blue's arc in this book. Her arc overall, but the way it kind of all comes home in this one.

    Gansey: MY POOR BABY. His anxiety and indecision in this book broke my heart and I love him and I'm so afraid for him and OH KANYE MY BABY'S GOING TO DIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE

    Spoiler is the best.

    ADAM & RONAN: BEST SHIP SUCH SHIP VERY PERFECT LOVE LOVE LOVE LKNFDKJGSLKAFLJDGKNSDSHFLKGDFMGDFZ SPOILER IS TRUTH SUCH TRUTH.
    The Adam family resolution scene caused me to burst into loud, snot-filler, ugly baby tears. So wonderful. I'm getting a little eyelid-y just thinking about it.

    THE END THE END THE END THE END

    Oh kanye and now I'm having Damon/Alaric feels and there are those fucking eyelids again.

    • Christina Franke says:

      WHY DID I CATCH UP NOW? WHY?

      Ironically, The Dream Thieves is the least dreamy book. I see you and your irony, Maggie.

      It’s an interesting new trend to put the set up book in the middle. I mean, I guess that’s cool. It did sort of throw me off, but BOOK FOUR WILL BE SO BOSS.

      JUST LET ADAM AND RONAN GET IT ON THAT IS ALL I ASK.

      DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. JUST OH SHIT.

      It’s so weird seeing Gansey being like uhhhhh, idk. I didn’t actually even notice this while I was reading and I was thinking about what to say about him and realized holy shit he didn’t DO anything really. Which is pretty impactful. I mean, it’s Gansey. His life is a project and getting things done. He has goals and he works towards them.

      Oh man, that scene was one of the best in the book. Now Adam is ready for hot Ronan love.

      Shut up, I’m not focused on one element.

  3. The comments and replies are my favorite part of this whole post hahah! You said all there needs to be said about the glory that is Radam and Pynch.

    And Blueeeee <3

    This book more than the others made me sit and immediately ponder. I didn't know how I felt either! I liked it. I liked it more on reflection. But there's something I can't put my finger on.

    SPOILER was the most unexpected and delightful part of the book imo. Just completely nuts and somehow it works perfectly.

    I also loved Jesse and his SHOUTING GIANTNESS.

    The ending was predictably crazy, like what even happened. All the cave stuff really, the parallels in the tapestries that Malory told them about (MALORY. HE WAS DELIGHTFUL). I'm so so curious about everything and ready for my brain to fall apart and my hear to explode in Book 4.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    So I completely forgot that this was a quartet and not a trilogy, so towards the end of the books I was like…I’m getting a bad feeling…a REALLY bad feeling. Then the ending came and I was all I HAVE SO MANY FREAKING QUESTIONS HELP HELP HELP

    I think it’s really interesting the way Maggie sets this up. I think getting into the series most people think Blue is the main character (this is just an assumption on my part, because it’s what I thought). And I’m honestly not sure she ever feels like THE main character. A main character, certainly, but not THE main character. If last book was a Ronan book, this one definitely felt like an Adam book (or a blend of Ronan and Adam), although I think Blue took a step forward here too. It’s really great that there’s a constant shift in focus and growth – as some characters struggle (Gansey), others move forward (Adam and Blue). And it’s great because it just feels so…well it feels, real while at the same time furthering everything I love about books.

    And oh my god the Adam/Ronan feels! I was not expecting this to be the shippiest of all the ships for me. Last book I finally got the Blue/Gansey feels, but Adam/Ronan really took off this book. I seriously melted when Ronan left lotion for Adam because it just shows how much he cares and how much he notices and a;lsdjf;laskd PLEASE KISS!! It’s really cool how nonchalant/smug is about Ronan. The realization wasn’t a…wait is my friend crushing on me? WHAT? WEIRD. It was a – could it be that someone as awesome as Ronan could have a crush on me? So understated and awesome! (Although it feels pretty well known among the crowd that Ronan is gay, even if no one says it out loud, so maybe that’s why it wasn’t a surprise). So it makes me hopeful for that ship (PLEASE MAGGIE PLEASE), because even if Adam hasn’t gotten there for himself yet, he seems open to the idea. Yaassssssss
    Elizabeth recently posted…Coming Out of the (Book Blogging) ClosetMy Profile

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