Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater

“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.”


And so it continues. The quest for Gansey’s king is in full swing this time around, with a return to the focus on the group as a whole instead of singling anyone out. Blue and her raven boys continue on their quest for Glendower, and with Maura missing, everything seems a little more real. Real in the ways each of them is affected, and real in the way they need each other. Where The Dream Thieves had their relationships fragmenting, here, we have the much needed healing.

These friendships feel more realistically written than almost anything else I’ve read in YA. I love that these characters have flaws – bits that annoy me, bits that annoy each other – and even when they don’t understand what makes their friend tick, they try to. Each of the main characters here are so uniquely different. We’ve known that from the last two books, but we see them embrace it here.

Blue is once more a main character, and I missed her and her fire. There’s one scene where Blue is grossly offended for a man complimenting her nice legs. Adam can’t quite seem to understand why she’s making such a big deal over it, and the two argue. Later, Blue’s able to compare it to him disliking what others think of him when they see him in his Aglionby uniform. She doesn’t want to be stuffed into that mold, and neither does Adam – the two come to an understanding over it.

Adam, like Ronan in the previous book, grew and grew. His pride, which has always been such a defining feature for him, has finally decided to take a step back. There’s several times where Adam has to tell himself not to fight with Blue or Gansey, because he legitimately doesn’t want to. There’s no mention of Ronan there – because it’s Ronan – someone who seems to know Adam better than he knows himself, and it’s more apparent here that Ronan is slowly making his feelings for his friend known. Wonderfully, Adam doesn’t seem to mind. If anything, I can see him returning it.

“See, Adam Parrish is wantable, worthy of a crush, not just by anyone, someone like Ronan, who could want Gansey or anyone else and chose Adam for his hungry eyes.”

And Ronan?

“It was a small white plastic container. Adam twisted off the lid. Inside was a colorless lotion that smelled of mist and moss. Replacing the lid with a frown, he turned the container over, looking for more identifying features. On the bottom, Ronan’s handwriting labeled it merely: manibus. For your hands.”

He sees things too, like Adam. He’s sweet, kind in the way that matters. I love their growing relationship, and because of my love for Ronan, I hope it keeps developing.

And this moment for me, made my heart ache. Adam’s development is shown here more clearly than it ever could have been otherwise.

“ Was it okay? Adam had turned down so many offers of help from Gansey. Money for school, money for food, money for rent. Pity and charity, Adam had thought. For so long, he’d wanted Gansey to see him as an equal, but it was possible that all this time, the only person who needed to see that was Adam.
Now he could see that it wasn’t charity Gansey was offering. It was just truth.
And something else: friendship of the unshakable kind. Friendship you could swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before.”

I don’t think I could love these characters more if I tried.

We see less of Ronan’s thoughts here, but I enjoyed almost every line out of his mouth. Whether it’s something as crazy as “Jesus shit Mary fuck,” to “I don’t want to make a bigger cage. I want to open the door.”

He’s still the hurting, sharp edged boy as always. He’s finally managed to shape his ability and make it his own. The things he and Adam think up will make your head spin. I found it spoke volumes when Adam comments on the sorts of things Ronan, when left to his own devices, dreams up into reality. His dreams are magic – his kindness being who he is.

“I’ve dreamt him a box of EpiPens. I dream cures for stings all the time. I carry one. I put them in the Pig. I have them all over Monmouth.”

This is the boy who dreams up cures for his friend with a bee allergy. The one who leaves hand lotion for his friend with chapped hands. The one who holds Blue when they see the image of their deceased loved ones in a cruel lake. …I love Ronan, okay? Kerah!

Noah is more a ghost here than before – and I genuinely felt nervous during his scenes. It’s not only once that he appears to lose control, and I found myself missing the smudgy boy that kissed Blue. Before, you didn’t always remember that he’s dead. Here, there’s no mistaking it.

Blue and Gansey seem more intertwined than ever. They spend late nights on the phone together, and even take random night car rides together. There’s hand holding, almost kisses, and visions that come to fruition – albeit changed slightly. I liked that, btw. The tree visions are not always what they seem, and I liked that for the two we do see happen in this book, they are not what the character had originally witnessed in Cabeswater.

For as much as Blue Lily, Lily Blue developed the characters, the plot advanced as well. The characters make discoveries, and ultimately, we’re left with a cliffhanger that makes me glad I do not have to wait to start the final book. I’m torn, in that I don’t want to leave this world and these characters yet – but I need to know what happens. That’s the consequence of marathoning a series, I suppose. I read Blue Lily, Lily Blue in one day – in two sittings. I think I may take my time reading the last, since I want to savor this a bit before it ends. I’m not quite ready to leave Maggie Stiefvater’s beautiful prose.

“Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. Perhaps this cultural amnesia spared them all. Perhaps if they remembered everything, hope would die instead.”

To lose that would be a terrible thing, wouldn’t it?

5 Stars


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