Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3), by Maggie Stiefvater
If I were a movie, what would I be rated? PG-13
Any spoilers in this review? A couple. I blacked them out.
Summary: 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.
When I put an effort into it, I try and address three aspects of a book: the writing, the plot, and the characters. So, we’ll start with the writing, so by the time I get to the other two, I’ll hopefully be a little more articulate and less sprawling ramble and/or possible incoming rant.
The writing was as lovely as always. It’s a step above your average YA novel, in my opinion, because she has some really good turns of phrase and descriptions. It’s pretty without turning into purple prose.
The plot was… a tiny bit more fleshed out. This almost felt like a filler book, pushing and maybe clarifying what we already gleaned from the other ones. The main weakness is how slow paced it is, which is fine in some cases, but you don’t get the impression that anything is really being pushed either. Even after finding a sleeper. It felt mildly anticlimactic. What greatly compounded this issue was Greenmantle being quite the disappointment. After all the scariness of him looming in the background of book one and two, it was a letdown. The description of a spider in a web was good, but as a person? He lacked the weight of, say, the Gray Man’s very solid, but not overbearing, presence. The Gray Man didn’t seem like a caricature, unlike Greenmantle. And then Piper took center stage and she was, although interesting when we first met her, a cliche villainess. They were both disappointing by the end. This made the plot suffer, because the “villains” of this book weren’t scary.
This brings me more fully to the characters.
I can’t tell if I’m old or if I just don’t have much patient with teenagers or romances in YA. I know they’re teenagers. But I feel like if you’re going to throw around what’s supposedly true love—when they’re 18-ish?—then it should actually be a whole lot less selfish than it comes across. I don’t agree with the following reasoning, but I could at least get behind it if they lived as if they were going to die and kiss anyway because why not. I’d be completely behind Blue if she purposefully kept her distance from Gansey to protect his and her heart because she knows her kiss can kill him and he’s dying in X months. Instead we have this weird middle ground where they angst over each other and Gansey still doesn’t know that her kiss will kill whoever she loves. And yet she still allows herself to exist in his life, causing angst and turmoil, without explaining it to him.
I’m just so… over it. Gansey deserves better. I’m not entirely sure why he likes Blue. She’s cute and pretty and… unique? I guess? (Bordering on maniac pixie dream girl?) But outside that they usually have a butting of heads about—something. Anything. And it’s usually Blue who’s far too defensive when she doesn’t need to be. That’s not sexual tension, that’s a difference in basic personality that wouldn’t lend itself to an easy or healthy relationship.
Basically, I feel like all my complaints are the same as book 2. So I won’t rehash it here. Instead, here’s a link to book two’s review. Warning: it’s very ranty. To sum up my issues with the characters: so many interpersonal problems could just be solved if they, you know, talked to each other. But no.
What some people might be uncomfortable reading about in this book because of personal opinion or belief (beware of spoilers!): if you got through the other books, you can get through this one. Violence might’ve ticked up a bit, but that’s it.