20 March 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

If THE DREAM THIEVES was Ronan's story, then it seemed like, in large part, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE belonged to Adam. Which is strange, when you think about it, since it's Blue's name in the title, and she certainly went through a lot, too; but it's Adam's growth that stuck out to me.

Summer is over, and Blue and the Raven Boys are gearing up for a return to school. Ronan is spending a lot of time at the Barn, though no one knows why; Blue's mother, Maura, is still missing, after leaving a note at the end of THE DREAM THIEVES that said simply:

Glendower's underground. So am I.

Adam is still living on his own, and, with Persephone's aid, coming to terms with what his sacrifice to Cabeswater means. And, in an ironic turn of events that is not lost on the characters, they have Yet Another Villanous Latin Teacher, in the form of Mr. Gray's former employer, Colin Greenmantle.

Adam took some harsh turns in the first two books, and as much as I loved his character, it was easy to become angry at him, too: his stubbornness, his refusal to see his friends' love as anything other than pity or charity, his own sense of denial. In BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE he's finally growing up.

As teased at the end of THE DREAM THIEVES, Ronan has a crush on Adam, and it becomes clear quite quickly that Adam knows this. Things build slowly, and I'm still unsure how things are going to play out on that front - I fear things will only end in heartbreak, but then I always worry about that. Either way, the scenes between them were absolutely riveting, as their natural antagonism warred with their friendship and care for each other. One particularly touching scene had Adam and Ronan fight it out, only for Adam to find a small, perfect gift from Ronan left behind.

Gansey and Blue inevitably draw closer together, and these scenes, too, sizzle, though the direction they're heading is far more clear: even as they know they can't do what they're doing, they do it anyway. When you can't kiss the one you love, even the simplest of touches is pregnant with even more meaning: holding hands, touching the back of someone's neck, everything is amplified.

With all these glorious character moments, it's easy to forget there's a fast-moving adventure, too: Blue and the boys are determined to find Maura, Ronan is trying to figure out a way to destroy his Villanous Latin Teacher, Adam is still trying to find balance between himself and Cabeswater, Gansey is growing ever closer to finding Glendower. He receives a warning that there are not one, but three sleepers: One to wake, one to NOT wake, and one...well, things always come in threes.

I think this is quite possibly the most disjointed thing I've ever written. BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE is overwhelmingly awesome, but it is a little overwhelming. There's so much going on. I loved every bit of it and I can't wait for the fourth book to be released this October.

I am definitely going to preorder it.