Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Book 3 of The Raven Cycle)

When I first decided to start reading The Raven Cycle, it was after I had spotted Blue Lily, Lily Blue at my local bookstore. The cover entranced me and the story line caught my interest. I discovered it was the third book so I switched gears and focused on the first book (thanks to the recommendation of a book seller). It wasn't long before I reached this third publication though, I read the first two quickly and made it to the third, but I paused. The fourth book wasn't due out for months (now longer due to a recent announcement) and I knew that once this book was finished, I would have to wait ages for the following publication. Do I read it and get caught up then wait ages? Or do I drag out the reading, with hope of time passing a little more quickly, so there wouldn't be as much of a wait until I had the fourth book in my hands. 

Ultimately, I couldn't wait. I tore into Blue Lily, Lily Blue and ate it up, so now I'm here with you, waiting for the fourth book to be published. 

Blue Lily, Lily Blue may be one of my favorite books. I feel I am quite familiar with all of the characters now and quite comfortable with them, so my full focus was on the plot, which is great because at this point, "shit's getting real."

Blue's mother is missing, two characters die, the person who hired a hit man in the previous book is now too close for comfort, there are hidden dangers, and the team is closer than ever to finding our Welsh king.

Now that our characters are more set up, their personalities more defined, I feel this book takes the opportunity to not only move the plot along but to develop deeper relationships between the characters. We see the spark of romance and are reminded that Blue will likely lose the first person she loves. There's also the hint of something much more between other friends but we have yet to receive confirmation on those suspicions.

There's a lot going on with Noah, our resident ghost, in that he seems to be finding it harder to keep his form. Despite that Adam has fixed the lines, Noah will at times turn more "ghostly" than before and is a little more terrifying than I ever thought he was capable of. We're also introduced to Jessie who has no capability to be shocked, or so it seems. This man was a favorite character of mine for this book and I feel Maggie portrayed him in a very clear way. It was easy for me to picture his home, the country, the hillside, and all of the other details. His relationship with Blue and his interactions with Noah were so easy to comprehend that I felt like this was a true scene taken from life.

Ronan continues to propel himself into a more sympathetic character. We discover some of his deepest secrets and a softer, more caring side. We have more opportunities to visit the home he grew up in and he is, to me, less of a jerk and more amusing than before. I enjoyed his scenes, I enjoyed him, and I'm happy when he's mentioned (this is a complete 180 from my feelings toward him during the first book).

Adam also develops more, although I feel his development stems more from the settlement of his gifts and how his new-found ties to Cabeswater has altered him. He grows to understand more of himself and also allows himself to learn to trust. He begins the slow process of realizing that love and appreciation from friends does not equal being hit or abused, it doesn't mean he owes them anything to have their love. It's really lovely to watch this take form.

Blue is still herself, although we're able to see her break down a little as she worries about her mother. She also continues to be our brave girl, never held back by her size or the people she is with. She's inspiration in that way. At times, I feel she overreacts, but if that's the only qualm I have with her it's a pretty big deal.

Gansey is also fascinating in this book and really opens up. Prior to this, we know that he has a character, he has levels, he has opinions and likes and dislikes, but in this book he is open in that he exposes his fears and emotions more readily for all to see--including Blue. She has a love and dislike of him, she flips back and forth between crushing on him and judging him, but in a rushing moment she's able to realize (as are the readers) that Gansey isn't all stoic facial expressions, political smiles, and boat shoes. We see his fears and that he is not untouchable. I already believed he truly loved his friends and would do anything for them, to the very end, but this book made me realize that maybe they had to save him.

By the end of the book, I feel like we're at that point in a TV series where we just saw the episode before the season finale. So much is going on, the excitement is heightened, you know you're almost to the big battle and you're not quite sure how it'll turn out.

I felt the end of this book came at me in a rush. So much happened and then... it was over. But maybe it is because it's that "episode before the season finale." The following book is it, it wraps up the tale, so we're there along with the raven boys and Blue, holding our breaths before we're propelled forward.

Last Week's Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Next Week's Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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