Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date:  June 12th 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: 
The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

My Review:
In accordance to it's name The Golden Lily is young adult gold. Why do I say this? Well, because it is everything that a young adult novel should be. It has suspense, immense character growth, exploration of relationships of both the romantic and familial nature, and it also covers the intricacies involved in friendship. To say that The Golden Lily surpasses it's predecessor (Bloodlines #1) would be an understatement. The Golden Lily was just a breathtaking sequel and blew Bloodlines out of the water. It was just an amazing book. 

When it comes to characterization The Golden Lily shines. Not that it's a surprise. It's not everyday where you find an author who is so consistent in creating uniquely fabulous yet  inherently different heroines in every series they write and Richelle Mead has that gift. It often happens that when some authors write a series, their series kinda emulate each other and can be formulaic to the point where the reader can already guess how things might end or how the protagonists are gonna be like, personality wise. But that definitely does not happen here. Sydney Sage is quite the unique heroine not only when you compare her to other Richelle Mead books but when you compare her to the rest of heroines in young adult novels, today. 

Sydney Sage is a very analytical girl, who is very smart and who has a very perfectionist type of personality. She thrives on order and reason which obviously always leaves her struggling when it comes to social situations or romantic ones, because those situations are not always logical. Adrian Ivashkov, the male lead in The Golden Lily, has a more laid back personality than Sydney, he is extremely witty and sarcastic, and struggles a bit when it comes to people taking him seriously. So interestingly enough, while Adrian has to learn to be more responsible in this book, Sydney juggles with being more laid back and with putting reason on the back burner and learning how to deal with her emotions. And that journey that they have to go through in order to find balance in their lives was really interesting to read about.

Which leads me to the romance in this book. Richelle Mead is now officially, well, in my eyes, the queen of romantic tension. I just love how she never rushes anything, there is no insta-love in this book. Her romances are always so well-developed and well-paced and just heart wrenching yet lovely, all at the same time. And reading her books literally feel so real sometimes even though the settings are not always so, because they are like embarking on a journey with the main characters. You don't know what is gonna happen, but you know you have to get ready, because it's always quite the ride, a ride that will not take one but several books. And in this book we get to cover that universal business of love, the enigma that is love. That business of, "does she like me?" or "does he like me?" or "why would he or she like someone like me?" - that puzzle that is romance sometimes. And it was both fun and heartbreaking. Fun because most of the characters are just really confused about their feelings and so adorable in their fumblings when it comes to the object of their affections. And heartbreaking because it's really obvious to see who is perfect for each other but because they have to learn so much about themselves still, they can't necessarily be together when we the readers, want them to be.

I would have to say that what I loved the most about this book, is that at it's core, it is about recognizing the truth in other people. In The Golden Lily we get to see how closer the group of Sydney, Eddie, Jill, Adrian and Angeline have become and how some other new characters might not be who they portray themselves to be. Adrian and Sydney especially go through the most growth not only individually, but together. In this book, we get to see a bit more to them, what is going on when it comes to their feelings and let me just say, that they are so lovely that it should be illegal. I knew Sydney and Adrian were good people at their core, but they are so much more than you would think, that they just owned my heart. And it doesn't hurt that they share some of the funniest scenes and dramatic ones. Oh, yes, because this book, has it's fair share of danger. There are some crazy things brewing behind the scenes that are quite surprising when they are finally revealed. And I just loved everything. This book was so flawless in it's execution that I am just dying to read the 3rd installment in this series.

My Rating: 5/5


  1. I'm in love with this book! I read it in 2 days and I was annoyed, I was in love, I was everything in this book!! I already wrote my review but it won't post until next month...

    I read some people's reviews and they were going on a rage about the ending!! I thought it was something super intense.. But yes, I was still a bit upset about it, but I'm glad it happened finally :D

    (eek, that captcha is so hard to read)

    Blog: Arianne Cruz

    1. Oooo, that ending. It was tough but I know things will work out eventually :D

      I loved this book as well. Soooo good. It had my emotions twisted up in a knot.

      Thanks for stopping by, Arianne :)

    2. I want it to work out! I'm rooting for them since the beginning! :D

      Hehe, good thing I remembered to come back and check :)

      (please make that captcha go away)

    3. Sorry about the Captcha, Arianne. I didn't even know it was on. I could've sworn I didn't. But thanks for letting me know.

      I've loved Adrian and Sydney from the getgo as well. But I also knew Richelle Mead is gonna torture us a bit until they get together, haha!

  2. What a beautiful, wonderful, perfectly written review, Jen!! Considering how much I loved Bloodlines and know you did too, hearing that it's even more amazing than the first book makes me want to read it even more! (My copy is currently calling me from my shelf -- and now I have no exams to stop me. Yay!) I can't wait to meet my Adrian again and see some of his adorable lines with Sydney. I just love them both so much!!

    Amazing review, Jen! I'm really glad you loved this :) <3

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Mimi :) I'm so glad that you liked it. You are such a doll, thanks again for your kind words <3

      And yay for being able to start The Golden Lily. I think you're gonna love it and be prepared to adore Adrian even more. He is so amazing in this book. Aw, yes, Sydney and Adrian are so adorable. I love them, too!!! <3

  3. Fantastic review, Jennifer ! :)
    I couldn't agree more with what you mentioned in your review. Richelle Mead is fabulous at character development.
    Reading your review makes me want to read the book all over again ! ;)

    1. I know, right? Richelle Mead just rocks at character development.

      Yay for wanting to read it again. That is seriously the best compliment.

      Thank you, Nick :)

  4. Hey Jen! I don't know if you accept awards or not? But anyway I tagged you for the Liebster Blog Award if you want to check it out :)
    Here is the post:

    Btw, love your review on the Golden Lily! I love when you said this book was Gold. Well it does have Golden in the title! hehehe! Yes, Richelle Mead you are a queen! :) I'm going to be posting my review on my blog soon.

    1. Thanks for link to the award post, Olivia!

      And thank you. So glad you liked my review. And I'll be on the lookout for your review as well. Can't wait to see what you thought about it :)

  5. EEEEEEEE Jennifer! I finished The Golden Lily recently and it was EPIC! I loved it even more than Bloodlines! Adrian is just *sigh* I LOVE HIM! And Brayden was a fun addition to the story, LOL. The ending made me DESPERATE for The Indigo Spell!

    Awesome review, Jennifer! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it! :)

    1. Celine!!!!<3 You love the Bloodlines series, too? *happy dance*

      Oh em gee! I know, right? I thought the Golden Lily was epic, too. Haha, hear you on Adrian. I love him to pieces, he is so amazing! Oh, poor Brayden. He gave me the lolz, especially in his scenes with Adrian :D

      I am also desperate for The Indigo Spell. Especially after seeing the cover for it with that 3rd mysterious guy on there and Sydney with no lily tattoo. I have all types of theories running through my mind already LOL.

      & Thank you, Celine! <3 :)


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