Wednesday, October 8, 2014

So, I've seen a few others doing early reviews for books pre-release by doing a less formal review and sorta just fangirling over the title prior to publication, which may be months away, depending on when they read the book. Jamie from The Perpetual Page-turner has a Save the Date feature, and Heather over at The Flyleaf Review showcases her pre-release thoughts in a Mark Your Calendars post. I have the same problem. I want to tell the world about some of the awesome books I read pre-publication, but I can't wait until just a few weeks before the release date to shout it from the rooftops. And sometimes there just aren't words for a book, ya know?

My dilemma led me to an awesome -- if I do say so myself -- idea: Reviews in a GIFfy. I already (sometimes) post my reactions to a book via GIFs on Goodreads. (The one I did for World After was very well received.) But I wanted to make it a thing for those titles that I just can't wait until they appear on the ole reading schedule -- or for the ones that it's really hard to adequately express my feelings -- and I wanted to share my reactions via GIF with all of you. Essentially, these are going to be GIF-only reviews to tide you -- and me! -- over until I can expand on my thoughts in a legitimate review closer to the book's release date...if ever!

This week, I'm using this method to review the third book in Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle. I just love this series SO much, and this is probably the most coherent review you'll get out of me without fear of spoilers. (Reviewing the third book in a series is really hard without actually spoiling something in it.)

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle, book #3
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.

Reasons to read: You loved the previous two books, obvs. You love a good character-driven novel -- or series -- that's going to keep you guessing till the very end. You love Maggie Stiefvater so much that you even love reading a whole post about her goats.

Or, you just really love a book that makes you work for it, that doesn't give you any easy that's all of this:

The story: I feel like this is a mythical quest of Goonies proportions, only it keeps snowballing and growing in ways I never expected...and I am so okay with that. No matter what complications arise, no matter what they discover and where it leads them, these kids never give up. Their tenacity for finding Glendower -- and the other answers they seek -- is astounding.

The characters: Blue Sargent. Richard Campbell Gansey III, otherwise known as Gansey. Adam Parrish. Ronan Lynch. Mr. Gray, aka The Gray Man. Calla. Persephone. Even Orla. They all leap off the page at you and make you care, even when they're persnickety or callous or have outright offended you. These characters take the wheel, become the driving force that keeps you reading until all the words are gone.

The villain: It's changed with every book and yet I haven't hated any of them. I don't particularly like any of them either, but I find them intriguing nonetheless.

The romance(s):  Oh, yes, that's romance in the plural sense. Because one we know is impossible. (Maybe? Hopefully not?) One is intriguing because it involves a hitman. And the other one caught us by complete surprise, though it shouldn't have. (I mean, such animosity can only be sexual tension, right?) My ship remains intact and I have a new one on the horizon. Sort of. Pretty please?

The swoons: Please stop don't ever stop doing this to my heart, Maggie. I can take it. I promise.

Everything's coming full circle: It's all coming together. Questions are being answered. There's only one book left and things are making sense but they're also not and maybe the search is almost over, but hopefully it's not?

OMG, that last page. OMFG, "where the F stands for fainting*". I feel faint still. Talk about a shocker.

*As in, Maggie's fainting goats. I borrowed this quote from the post of Maggie's I linked to earlier in this review.

The quotability: Mags is always quotable. She writes like she talks in real life -- sardonic, sarcastic, and humorous -- and it speaks to me like no other. Some favorites:
  "Go to hell," Calla burst out.
   He nodded. "That's what I thought. You expecting her any time soon? I'd love to have a chat with her in particular."
   "Hell," Persephone said. "I actually agree in this case. Insofar as going there is concerned."

   "Oh, no!" Persephone said with a little laugh. "I don't think that would -- no. As you said, she has the hots for Mr. Gray. Do young people really say that anymore?"
   "I just said it. I'm young."
   "Are you asking me or not? Either you accept my authority on this point or we move on."
   "We move on."

   "They regarded each other. Adam fair and cautious, Ronan dark and incendiary. This was Ronan at his most truthful."

   "There was something unfamiliar about him when he arrived in the Pig. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.
   This wasn't the Gansey she'd seen in the kitchen earlier; this was the Gansey she secretly called at night."

   "Jesus Christ," Gansey said, to hide the sound of every hair on his body standing up and both of his testicles retreating."

   "One of Calla's eyebrows momentarily considered punching the woman."

   "Don't Richard Gansey the Third at me," Orla replied.
   "Because if that's what she meant, then yes, I just stared at him. I didn't realize it was a conversation because penis."

Probably too many favorites, considering I highlighted half the novel on my Kindle, but...

In summation: What did I love best about this third installment?

Yeah. It was pretty effing amazing. Maybe my favorite one yet, though I really, really liked The Dream Thieves...a whole helluva lot. *shrugs* All I know's going to be a long, anxious wait for that final book. Also...

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys #2)Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

About the author:

All of Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you're a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she's tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She's made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

Find Maggie:

Website | BlogTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Previous posts in this feature:

Of Metal and Wishes
The Kiss of Deception
Between the Spark and the Burn


  1. You're killing me with this review!!!! ^_^

  2. I need to read this! Sort of regretting not requesting the e-arc! Looks amazing though I'm not surprised because...Maggie.

  3. I haven't read this but it seems I should. Love the gif choices as well.

  4. I need to freaking read this freaking series. I freaking suck!


    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  6. The UST gif... hahahahahahaha! I still need to read book 2. *hides* Also, I didn't realize there were going to be 4 books!

  7. Yay! I have this waiting for me one my Kindle, but I need to read the second book first. I read the first book when it came out...and then reread it before the second one came out...and then never read The Dream Thieves. I'm reading it now, and hope to get through both it and Blue Lily in the next couple of weeks or so. Love this post!

  8. AHHH! I just finished The Raven Boys, so now I understand everything -- which also means, I understand nothing. I understand the love surrounding this series, but I'm still not sure where this story is headed, and that's what I love most about it. Of course, I was confused as hell throughout most of my reading of TRB, but by the end, it made sense! Though the door is open for SO MUCH MORE! I can't wait to dive into The Dream Thieves in the coming week or so. And then... BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE! I LOVE THIS REVIEW! You've made me so much more excited for what I have yet to uncover, Jen. You always do! :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review


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