October 22, 2014

The Danger in Dreaming

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: October 21, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 416 pages
Source & Format: NetGalley; e-ARC
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
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Summary (from 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.

Thoughts on Blue Lily, Lily Blue
When I got approved for Blue Lily, Lily Blue on NetGalley, it was the kick I needed to re-read the first book and then continue the series. I'm glad that I them all in one weekend because it kept the mythology fresh in my mind. Because much as I enjoy these books, they are so confusing!

This is a character-driven series, which I felt was on display in The Dream Thieves. The summary for Blue Lily, Lily Blue made it sound as though there would be more action in this book, so I was excited... but also a little nervous. What surprises would be revealed this time?! I think there has been at least one moment in every single book where I've had to take a moment and re-read the page because all I can think is WHATTTTT?!?! In that regard, this book certainly delivers.

My one issue with The Dream Thieves was that I felt like there was almost no forward progress in the search for Glendower. It's so focused on characters that the plot kind of stalled out. Overall, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book because I know Stiefvater has a clear vision for the series. But would Blue Lily, Lily Blue be able to deliver? Thankfully, this book felt more like The Raven Boys to me in terms of pacing. It moved a little quicker, had more going on and shifted back to Gansey's quest (as well as the search for Blue's mother).

However, while I was happy that the story seemed to be picking up, it still felt confusing to me. I've got to be honest - I don't understand the point of a lot of what happened in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. It was hard for me to connect to the book when I was unsure of the relevance of what was taking place in it. I absolutely love Stiefvater's writing... and yet I feel like the story is overly complicated at times. There are so many details, characters and dimensions to this series. While that provides for excellent discussion and analysis, it sometimes makes me less invested in what I'm reading. There is SO MUCH happening that I find it hard to believe that there's only one book left to tie up all of the threads.

I love the characters in this world. Stiefvater excels at creating layered, complex people that can provoke a visceral reaction as you read about them. But there are sometimes too many of them - and some take up page space but don't seem to serve a purpose. I also really admire the writing. I wanted to highlight so many passages from this book while I was reading it! But, at the same time, I couldn't tell you much about the plot.

I'm honestly so torn. Ultimately, I think Blue Lily, Lily Blue fits within the series. It delivers on what I expect from Stiefvater as far as characters, tone and writing style. I adore those elements - so much so that I can pretty easily overlook the things about the series that bother me. But I'll admit that I feel like there is a bit of smoke and mirrors at play with this series: the mesmerizing quality of the writing masks the inconsistencies or oddities.

Listen, I may get to the last book, see that every single thing was important and realize I didn't give Stiefvater enough credit. I'm just not so sure that I will. I absolutely want to finish this series and eagerly await the final installment. It's taken so much work to get there - I truly hope it's all worth it in the end!

So Quotable
"SHE WAS ALL RIGHT," Jesse assured him.
"My head knew that," Gansey said. "But the rest of me didn't."
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm well I just read that she had all four books mapped out before she even wrote the first so I have a feeling she'll wrap everything up in book 4. But yes, there was a lot that went over my head in the first two books that I understood better the second time. So it might just be those kind of books. I'm so desperate to read this, got my copy yesterday but this week is so busy!

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