The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

First Lines: Most people would find being led into an underground bunker on a stormy night scary.  Not me.

Admittedly, Richelle Mead is my favorite author and the world she created with Vampire Academy always makes me feel like I’m reuniting with an old friend, even if it’s a new book.  If I have time to kill and no book to jump into, I will pick up one of the VA books and open it to a random page and begin reading.  So, that’s background information for this review.

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead for both VA and Bloodlines*

Sydney Sage, Alchemist and perfectionist, is feeling a bit conflicted over more than one thing.  She’s still tasked with protecting Jill Dragomir in Palm Springs, California, along with Eddie and a few friends.  The more time she spends with Eddie, Jill, and especially Adrian, Sydney begins to question the teachings of the Alchemists.  Things get more complicated when Sydney discovers she may be the key to prevent becoming Strigoi, but she fears being special.  To make matters even worse, Sydney has entered into one challenge she’s never faced before: a romantic relationship with a boy named Brayden.  He’s almost exactly like her…but Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else.  Can Sydney manage to balance all of this?  Are the Alchemists right about vampires after all or have they totally missed the mark?

I probably relate more to Sydney than Rose, which I kind of find surprising.  Well, not really, but I was very attached to Rose.  I know a lot of VA fans have trouble with the Bloodlines series because it has a much slower pace.  Sydney doesn’t constantly find herself in the middle of a fight, nor does she constantly drop in on someone else’s life through visions.  And I get that.  I love reading VA for all the trouble Rose gets into (especially trouble with a particularly tall guardian in a duster…).  But Sydney is like my literary twin.  I like seeing her think things through and carefully plan things out.  That’s how I am.

And oh my goodness, her relationship with Brayden was equally humorous and horrifying because that’s exactly how I was at her age…ahem…still am sometimes…  Right.  Yes.  Sydney is so socially ill-equipped for a relationship it makes it funny.  I admit it: I have the same trouble with new relationships that Sydney has.  I mean, is there really a rule for when you start calling a guy your boyfriend or when it’s acceptable to hold hands?  It’s so hard to know right at the beginning of a relationship and I really appreciated that one of my favorite heroines struggled with the same things I do.  It made it feel so much more real and I’m sure most girls have at one time encountered some of Sydney’s dating problems.

As I mentioned previously, returning to these stories is like visiting old friends.  It truly is since so many of them constantly return.  I’ve had a soft spot for Eddie since Frostbite.  The boy’s been through so much and I can’t wait to see him be happy.  Adrian…oh man.  If someone had told me while I was reading the VA series that I would end up rooting for Adrian, I would have said you were crazy.  But now that we see him through Sydney’s eyes and not Rose’s, I want him to have his own love story.  One where he won’t get as hurt as he did last time.

The story itself is as funny as it always is.  Adrian is perfect comic relief.  The action is a little less actiony than what we’re used to, I admit, but the repercussions of what happens is going to reverberate through the rest of the series, I think.  I really loved the budding love stories we see (because there is more than one) and I’m really excited to see where some new loyalties and friendships lead.

But mostly, I want the next book!  After that ENDING?!  Ugh.  Who ends with that?

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