Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie StiefvaterBlue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Published by Scholastic Press on October 21st 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, LGBTQ+
Pages: 391
Goodreads

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.

4.5 Stars

This series just keeps getting better with every book, as suspense increases and the pace accelerates. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is a masterfully written third instalment, which builds a suspense-packed bridge to the much-anticipated finale. Secrets are guarded, loyalties tested, and the circle of danger around Blue and her Raven boys grows tighter and tighter like a noose. 

Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.

BEWARE – SPOILERS AHEAD!

Inner Fangirl: This was the third instalment and I’m still not seeing the 5 stars this series deserves. What the fuck is wrong with you?

Inner Critic: It’s a 4.5, woman!

Inner Fangirl: That’s like telling someone they won, even though they came in second. Lame!

Inner Critic: Ok, ok, we can consider bumping it up to a full five if you’ll shut your damn trap about it afterwards.

Inner Fangirl: You better change your mind, you critical pain in the ass.

*meaningful silence*

Inner Fangirl: Anyway, despite Critic pulling this rating down half a star, this book was incredible. We devoured it. This instalment was a bit more coherent with the linkages between the chapters and the pace accelerated (mirrored by our reading speed). The writing is still the most precious, beautiful thing. The foreshadowing is making us paranoid. The humour has been a reliable constant throughout this series, and we cracked up several times. We’ve grown so attached to the characters and–

Inner Critic: I’ll have to interject at this point that Noah is still just a cheerleader on the sidelines. He’s dead, not inexistent. He’d have the potential to play a key role.

Inner Fangirl: Yes, well, he’s still the only Raven Boy to have kissed Blue, so… suck it up! Speaking of kissing: The romance had us at the edge of our seats. There’s so much sizzling in the air, so much tension, so many jaw-dropping moments. So many feels!

“I know when I’m awake and when I’m asleep,” Ronan Lynch said.
Adam Parrish, curled over himself in a pair of battered, greasy coveralls, asked, “Do you?”
“Maybe I dreamt you,” he said.
“Thanks for the straight teeth, then,” Adam replied.

Inner Critic: Truth. But to me, it came out of nowhere that Adam knew Ronan had a crush on him. I mean, the reader knows because he was in Ronan’s head. How does Adam know? One handcream as a gift is not sufficient evidence, imo.

Inner Fangirl: Shut up. Pynch is canon. Bluesey is canon. End of discussion.

Casually, out of the view of Ronan, making sure Adam was still sleeping, Gansey dangled his hand between the driver’s seat and the door. Palm up, fingers stretched back to Blue.
This was not allowed.
He knew it was not allowed, by rules he himself had set… She would not see the gesture, anyway. She would ignore it if she did. His heart hummed.
Blue touched his fingertips.

Inner Critic: I never said they weren’t–

Inner Fangirl: Thank you, Critic, for your… enlightening contributions to this debate. Let’s move on to the friendship dynamics in this group. There were so many powerful moments of friendship and I finally felt like we’d gotten over the wedge that had been driven between Adam and the rest of the group, thank God.

Friendship of the unshakeable kind. Friendship you could swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before.

Inner Critic: I’ve always kind of liked Adam. I mean, sure, the inferiority complex in the last instalments was annoying, but at least, he was realistic. And Ronan, too. Gansey sometimes reminds me of a porcellain figure.

Inner Fangirl: You really haven’t been paying attention during this read, have you? Haven’t you seen the cracks in his façade? He can be scared out of his freaking mind. He ran away from home without saying goodbye. He’s not flawless, at all.

Inner Critic: Point taken. He’s pretty swoon-worthy but I still think he could use some more… spark.

Inner Fangirl: He has his mint. Besides, Ronan has more than enough fucking spark to provide for the whole group. And don’t tell me you don’t love Ronan, as he’s as much the cynical ass you are. (I still love you, Critic).

And Ronan Lynch looked like Niall Lynch, which was to say, he looked like an asshole.

The only thing more pleasing than seeing Ronan singled out was seeing him singled out and forced to repeatedly sing an Irish jig.
“Piss up a rope,” Ronan said. Gansey, unoffended, waited. Ronan shook his head, but then, with a wicked smile, he began to sing, “Squash one, squash two, s—”
“Not that one,” both Adam and Gansey said.
“I’m not listening to that for three hours,” Adam said. Gansey pointed at Ronan until he began to breathily whistle a jaunty reel.

Inner Critic: Fair enough. (Still love you, too, despite the squeaky fangirling). I loved that Irish jig, though.

Inner Fangirl: Wow, it is actually in your emotional capacity to love something, not criticize it? I’m impressed! Let’s move on to the plot: We enjoyed the hunt for clues about Glendower, didn’t we?

Inner Critic: We did, but sometimes their discoveries seemed a bit too easy to be true. They just walk down a hole and – BAM – a door is there.

Inner Fangirl: Agreed, but it has taken them long enough to find the damn hole, so I think we can let that slide. Further, it’s not like everything fell into their lap thereafter. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a fourth book. I really hope we’ll find a mate for Calla in The Raven King. I love how she goes berserk on people.

“What do we do now?” Gansey asked.
From the other room, Calla bellowed, “GO BUY US PIZZA. WITH EXTRA CHEESE, RICHIE RICH.”
Blue said, “I think she’s starting to like you.”

Inner Critic: Speaking of Blue’s relatives, did the incident with Persephone also strike you as… out of nowhere? Unexplained?

Inner Fangirl: Maggie never does anything without a reason and I’m sure we’ll get an explanation in The Raven King. Stop being so impatient, Critic!

Inner Critic: We’ll see about that. I’m not convinced yet. By the way, have you noticed how “Don’t Richard Gansey me!” has become a synonym for not wanting to be given a lecture?

Inner Fangirl: Best line ever! Now, since we’ve been babbling for a long time, let’s get back to The Raven King. I’m scared out of my mind of what will happen. Maggie, please, have some mercy. Don’t let him die, or anyone else for that matter. Pretty please. WE LOVE GANSEY.

Inner Critic: YES, WE DO.

Inner Fangirl: Hey, now, back off! You are out of line! You were hired for the ranting. Leave the squealing to a professional!