Friday, June 22, 2012

READING: Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Publication date: June 12th, 2012
Published by: Razorbill
Genre: YA Paranormal, Vampires
Rating: 3/5
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.

Golden Lily in general was slow paced, uninteresting and boring. The last scene though was what kept the book alive for me and gave me hope for future installments. It certainly saved an otherwise run of the mill, borderline mediocre YA paranormal book.

Let's dissect this sucker, shall we? First the characters.

I don't like Sydney. I didn't like her in VA and I don't like her now and frankly, I am not seeing myself liking her in the foreseeable future. She's bland, needy, neurotic, absolutely no fun and, what I hate the most about her, an obnoxious know-it-all. That is not what I consider a heroine. Everybody keeps telling her how badass and amazing she is and I'm trying really hard to see it. The girl, besides thinking she's smarter than anybody on the planet, has nothing else going for her. No personality whatsoever. She even tells Adrian at some point that she feels she has to take her amazingly bright mind down a notch so as to stoop to everyone else's level. 
Seriously now? Come on. No way. In a perfect world, Sydney would be a character everyone would laugh at or ignore in a book. Somehow in this one, she's the heroine who is supposed to inspire her peers.
Yeah. No.
I hate hate hate her aversion to magic. I don't wanna hear "That's her lifestyle, she grew up like that" and all that crap. Because it's so unbelievably wrong of her to denounce magic because it plays with people's lives and minds, and may I add rightly so on one hand, and on the other when it's convenient for her, she uses it like it's nothing. That's not cool at all. It reminds me of people eating chicken and when they see other people killing chicken they freak out. Well, where do you think it came from when you put it in your mouth, buddy? That's Sydney for you. Bad, but if it helps her purpose it's good. Awesome principles.

Adrian remained his adoring self. I was a fan of Adrian's since VA so no problemo there.
Well, that's not exactly true. Adrian's character had major flaws and I don't mean as a person, I love his vices, I mean as a written character in a book. In Golden Lily he was more of a caricature most of the time than a solid character. He was the comic relief, everyone will have a laugh seeing Adrian drunk and slurring. Har har. Yeah, it wasn't so funny and after a couple of times, it got old. Also, even though as I mentioned earlier I loved the last scene, there were some things said there that were totally inconsistent with his character, things that Adrian as we know him would never say and honestly, they hit me hard and I'm still on the fence about them. Do I like and embrace the change, or want the Adrian I grew to know and love back? Can't decide.

The others pretty much remained the same. Jill, Eddie, Angeline (the dhampir from the Keepers, remember her?), Sonya, Dimitri. I don't know what will happen with Jill and Eddie's relationship dynamics because, what do you know, once again Sydney meddled and ruined everything. So no idea how it's gonna play out.
Speaking of relationships, in Golden Lily Sydney meets and dates briefly someone who is horrible, whiny, needy as hell and dislikable in general. Someone who everyone, including Sydney, thinks is exactly like her and they're the perfect fit.
Rest my case.

Story wise, there is not a lot happening. Actually, nothing happens as far as action and intrigue and mystery is involved. Most of the time we have to deal with Sydney's freak outs about vampires and magic, her abysmal love life, dances and parties. Something resembling an action scene happens towards the end, but don't get too excited.
Now the last scene of the book, was something else entirely. I loved it. As simple as that. I loved it regardless of the two people participating in it. In fact, I love it in spite of them, it could have been anyone. And even though I disagreed with a lot of what was said, the writing was brilliant and it stuck in my head a long time after I finished the book. I finally got a glimpse of Mead's talent which I haven't seen since Spirit Bound. It's been a long time coming. 

What pissed me off is that Golden Lily was so mediocre overall, that I don't know if I can find any excuse to hold on to this series anymore. Being written by Richelle Mead is not gonna cut it. Unless of course she stops playing it safe hoping that her millions of fans will read anything she writes regardless the quality, and starts writing something really spectacular. She's done it before, she can do it again.
Some people think I'm way over thinking this and I should take it easy and chillax or whatever. Honestly, I don't care. I'm passionate about reading and books and I get invested in what I read and what I love. If you don't get it, then you've probably never been and never will be passionate about anything. 
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  1. I've not read either of the Bloodlines books yet. I'd had enough after the mess that was Last Sacrifice. I can't agree more about your comments about getting invested in what you read and love. What other way is there to be?! I always found Adrian flat and irritating, Sydney too irritating for a main character, and though I liked Jill and loved Eddie, I did not want to read a series involving a relationship springing up between the two. And based on this, I was right to think it'd happen! Le sigh. Thanks for the honest rant and convincing me I haven't made a mistake ignoring the series!

  2. Yeah, you truly haven't. Mead will need a small miracle to revive it. Disappointing.

  3. Wow - everyone else has really loved this.

    I didn't really like Rose (don't hit me) and quit reading the VA series so I'm not sure how I would feel about Sydney.

    I'm pretty picky about my series these days and have been waiting for several books to come out and see if it's worth starting.

    Thanks for an opposing view.

  4. Please, please don't trash talk Sydney. Okay she's smart and all, but there are really people like that. Saying that someone logical and reasonable is boring is really sad.

    I agree, there was nothing going on at all with the book. But I've come to love the Vampire Academy series, as well as Bloodlines, making them fun reading materials.

    According to Richelle Mead herself, she focuses on character connection first before the story. This is obviously the excuse why there's not much going on...

    Bottom line is just enjoy the book, be the character/heroine/narrator. And of course, stay true to your feelings.

    I'm speaking like this tonight because I really like Richelle Mead and I feel defensive for her and her books. I do see your point though. :)


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