ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
The first time I read Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I was struck by how different it is from the previous installments in the series. I loved it, but I didn’t know if the different was good different or bad. The second time I read this book, I discovered so many little things that escaped me the first time around. However, even after reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue twice, I cannot help but feel that it all still eludes me a little. What I’m trying to relay here is that I feel a bit lost when it comes to Blue Lily, Lily Blue. As if I cannot completely grasp what Stiefvater has done with it and with that being said, comes the thing about themes.
Just like with The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue highlights themes that contrast and compliment each other throughout the book. Mirrors and knowability. Every character in the book ask themselves the same question about knowing themselves and others around them at least once. Moreover, there are many instances where Stiefvater puts two characters in a similar situation and let their choices be the thing that differentiates between them. This was also a theme in The Dream Thieves, but in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, it turned in on itself. And mirrors because knowing yourself are you really are is the biggest task of all.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue starts with an urgency that comes with knowing that the end is near but not quite so. Thus, the plot seems to move forward with a certain resignation; as if the characters have accepted that last resorts cannot be ignored anymore, that this is what they’ve been after the whole time and now it’s too late to do anything but move forward.
There’s Richard Gansey who cannot help but feel that the end of his hunt for Glendower is near. He’s constantly worried about others getting to wake Glendower first and gets cold-feet about the aftermath of waking Glendower. It’s been a universally acknowledged fact that Gansey likes to put others at ease as much as he can. However, as his restlessness rises and his feelings for Blue deepens, he starts to relay his real emotions and opens himself up to relying on others more and more. It’s interesting and a little bit of a relief to finally see Gansey falter, second-guess himself and just be more real, in a way.
There’s Adam Parrish who’s having a hard time exclusively being the hands and eyes of Cabeswater. As Persephone helps him in giving only what he bargained for to Cabeswater, Adam cannot help but think of himself as someone who’s unknowable. He still have a lot of issues to deal with, the least of which is not letting Robert Parrish get to him anymore. He still adheres to his idealism firmly, but he slowly comes to a realization that he’s been the one who’s been holding himself back. That his assumptions about others have more to do about him than Gansey or Blue or Ronan. Thus, he quietly gains more confidence to finally deal with his hangups about poverty, friendship, and being Adam Parrish.
There’s Ronan Lynch who is still a snake, but with less poison than before. He continues to grow even more as he accepts himself as a Greywaren and shows a caring side of himself that was buried under a mountain of rage before. Ronan knows that things could get uglier and he wants to be prepared. His primary emotion is still anger, but it’s the anger that everyone now knows naturally comes with being Ronan Lynch. But he’s much less strung up than before and still the most precious of all.
There’s Blue who’s put under a microscope as senior year of high school rolls around and Maura Sargent is still underground. It’s really something to see Blue struggle with the realization that college may be out of question for her. Her need to have something more or be something more gets further tangled up as Gwenllian comes into the picture. Moreover, Blue is really starting to fall in love with Gansey which is just so beautifully sad to witness.
There’s more to Noah Czerny than anyone can ever know. As he deals with his issues about being alive or staying dead, he constantly flits in and out of their lives. Also, it’s insinuated that Noah is more aware of everything around him than he ever lets on and that’s something that kind of scares me a little. Mainly because time is circular and Noah might be aware of how it all ends…
Overall, the relationship dynamics between the five main characters get even more layered and branch out in this installment. Gansey and Blue try to hold themselves back from a potential doom while, Adam and Ronan open up to each other and see more of each other. Moreover, the relationship of Blue and the Gray Man, and Blue and Ronan are two bright little spots. More, please.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue also takes a deeper look at the dynamics of the women of 300 Fox Way; mainly Calla, Persephone and Maura. Their friendship is exactly how I want the friendship of Blue and her raven boys to be like in the future. As far as secondary and tertiary characters go, Gwenllian’s crazy is the kind of crazy that I can only be amused by and Piper Greenmantle absolutely won me over with her quirky bluntness. Jesse Dittley is a ridiculously endearing addition to The Raven Cycle, thumbs up for Roger Malory annoying the hell out of Ronan and oh, definitely looking forward to seeing more of Henry Cheng in The Raven King.
So while The Dream Thieves is my favorite of the series, Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the most Stiefvater of the three. It takes a long look at each of the characters and their relationships with each other just as it all comes to a close. The end is nigh and the heart is so full.
‘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.
‘He left bloody fingerprints on the rock, but there was something satisfying about that.I was here. I exist. I’m alive, because I bleed.’
‘The scent of Cabeswater, all trees after rain, drifted past Adam, and he realized that while he’d been looking at Ronan, Ronan had been looking at him.’
‘Gansey thought of how strange it was to know these two young men so well and yet to not know them at all. Both so much more difficult and so much better than when he’d first met them. Was that what life did to them all? Chiselled them into harder, truer versions of themselves?’
‘Humans were so circular; they lived the same slow cycles of joy and misery over and over, never learning. Every lesson in the universe had to be taught billions of times, and it never stuck.’