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Monday, November 10, 2014
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic Press
Release Date: Oct 21, 2014
Disclaimer: Received for review consideration from the publisher via NetGalley.


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 try to be vague, but as this is the third book in a series, mild spoilers may be present. My reviews of the first two novels in the Raven Cycle are here)

Review: There’s a certain mild worry mixed with excitement I experience when reading a new installment in a beloved series. The need to know what happens next is mixed with the feeling that the novel can’t possibly live up to expectations. Thankfully Blue Lily, Lily Blue was such a good read my fears were put to rest as I was happily transported once again to Henrietta with Blue and the Aglionby boys as they continue their search for Glendower.

            This book returns to closely following Adam, Gansey, and Blue while Ronan is very much involved in the plot the reader is not privy to his thoughts).  Then there’s Noah, still ghosting around and acting as a barometer for trouble. Blue, whom I’d missed hearing from in The Dream Thieves, is central to the plot this time around. Dealing with personal loss, she begins to question what she really wants from life, both in her relationships and her future, and whether achieving those things will be possible. Adam, perhaps the character who has evolved the most from his beginnings was in The Raven Boys, must deal with the consequences of his magical bargain in addition to facing his abusive father once again. Ronan, despite being more in the background, has clearly been affected by the events in The Dream Thieves. As for Gansey, his weaknesses are made more apparent, as are his motivations for starting the search for Glendower. These characters grow from book to book and their relationships with each other are fascinating and complex. It’s rare that such a large cast of characters is as well rounded and portrayed so skillfully.
           
      Another great thing? While this is one part of an overarching mytharc, Blue Lily, Lily Blue tells a complete story. Goals are achieved and closure is given, with enough threads dangling to make me eager for the sequel but not cause the frustration that comes when a novel ends in the middle of the action (all too common with series these days). Another positive?  The setting: Henrietta is so grounded and so real feeling yet the magical elements in the story feel organic, not jarring. It’s a refreshing blend of realism and fantasy.
           
            Finally, what elevates this book from an entertaining fantasy story to a five star book for me is how it does not shy away from issues of class. Gansey, generally a good guy, is highly privileged and this can cause him to be condescending, hurtful, or oblivious. Ronan is similarly privileged and this allows him to act out with minimal consequences, while Adam must work several jobs while keeping his grades up in order to ensure his future. Then there’s Blue, whose choices are limited due to her family’s monetary situation. I find Blue’s frustration over her college plans and her uncertainty over her relationship with Gansey just as compelling as any magical cave jaunts or dream creatures. I must also mention the villains, a comically over privileged super couple who obsess over gourmet cheese and yoga classes while causally ordering someone’s murder. 
         
      All in all, this is a wonderful entry in this series and I can hardly wait for the next one. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

2 comments:

JaimeLH TheWorldfortheReading said...

I love that Stiefvater is able to write so much growth in these characters but in such a subtle way. When you discover something about a character, you wonder if you haven't always known that about them. I love this series.
Great review!

JaimeLH TheWorldfortheReading said...

That's true. Well said.
Thank you!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic Press
Release Date: Oct 21, 2014
Disclaimer: Received for review consideration from the publisher via NetGalley.


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 try to be vague, but as this is the third book in a series, mild spoilers may be present. My reviews of the first two novels in the Raven Cycle are here)

Review: There’s a certain mild worry mixed with excitement I experience when reading a new installment in a beloved series. The need to know what happens next is mixed with the feeling that the novel can’t possibly live up to expectations. Thankfully Blue Lily, Lily Blue was such a good read my fears were put to rest as I was happily transported once again to Henrietta with Blue and the Aglionby boys as they continue their search for Glendower.

            This book returns to closely following Adam, Gansey, and Blue while Ronan is very much involved in the plot the reader is not privy to his thoughts).  Then there’s Noah, still ghosting around and acting as a barometer for trouble. Blue, whom I’d missed hearing from in The Dream Thieves, is central to the plot this time around. Dealing with personal loss, she begins to question what she really wants from life, both in her relationships and her future, and whether achieving those things will be possible. Adam, perhaps the character who has evolved the most from his beginnings was in The Raven Boys, must deal with the consequences of his magical bargain in addition to facing his abusive father once again. Ronan, despite being more in the background, has clearly been affected by the events in The Dream Thieves. As for Gansey, his weaknesses are made more apparent, as are his motivations for starting the search for Glendower. These characters grow from book to book and their relationships with each other are fascinating and complex. It’s rare that such a large cast of characters is as well rounded and portrayed so skillfully.
           
      Another great thing? While this is one part of an overarching mytharc, Blue Lily, Lily Blue tells a complete story. Goals are achieved and closure is given, with enough threads dangling to make me eager for the sequel but not cause the frustration that comes when a novel ends in the middle of the action (all too common with series these days). Another positive?  The setting: Henrietta is so grounded and so real feeling yet the magical elements in the story feel organic, not jarring. It’s a refreshing blend of realism and fantasy.
           
            Finally, what elevates this book from an entertaining fantasy story to a five star book for me is how it does not shy away from issues of class. Gansey, generally a good guy, is highly privileged and this can cause him to be condescending, hurtful, or oblivious. Ronan is similarly privileged and this allows him to act out with minimal consequences, while Adam must work several jobs while keeping his grades up in order to ensure his future. Then there’s Blue, whose choices are limited due to her family’s monetary situation. I find Blue’s frustration over her college plans and her uncertainty over her relationship with Gansey just as compelling as any magical cave jaunts or dream creatures. I must also mention the villains, a comically over privileged super couple who obsess over gourmet cheese and yoga classes while causally ordering someone’s murder. 
         
      All in all, this is a wonderful entry in this series and I can hardly wait for the next one. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

2 comments:

  1. I love that Stiefvater is able to write so much growth in these characters but in such a subtle way. When you discover something about a character, you wonder if you haven't always known that about them. I love this series.
    Great review!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you, comments are appreciated :)