Sunday, 5 January 2014

Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

This review may contain several spoilers for Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night.

Title: Into the Still Blue
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Atom (UK)
Published: Feb 06, 2014
Buy: The Book Depository

With Into the Still Blue, we wrap up a trilogy that has, since its first instalment, had me completely and thoroughly invested. Its incredible predecessor may have set the bar monstrously high (perhaps a little too high in places), but there is no doubt that Rossi’s talent is vast and flexible. As a conclusion, Into the Still Blue is solid and satisfying, and as one final opportunity to spend time with Aria and Perry, it is the perfect goodbye.

It isn’t difficult to see where the story is going to head once you begin, but for once, it doesn’t matter too much. It’s the journey that’s important here, the sacrifices made along the way, and the challenges that mould and define the character arcs. A lot has changed since the events of Under the Never Sky, with Reverie falling and the Dwellers and Outsiders joining ranks, albeit reluctantly. The first part of the book focuses on rescuing Cinder from Hess and Sable, before they can exploit his abilities to channel Aether to cross into the Still Blue. All the while, we’re building up to the inevitable – the crossing into the Still Blue, a possible end to the characters’ suffering – and the tension and anticipation is thick and exciting. What matters most, however, is the impact that it has on its characters. The way hope – and even loss of hope – can come into conflict with loyalty and duty.

This is a trilogy that stands out to me for its clever development of relationships, and the sheer emotion that can be felt behind the actions and words of each of its protagonists. Characters like Aria and Perry (and also Roar) are rare gems, characters to treasure, not entirely because they are likeable and well-built – there are plenty of those around – but because they are the sorts of characters you’ll want to carry in your thoughts long after the final pages have turned. They are memorable and real, more tangible, even, than the actual story. I will never forget Perry walking away and turning around to face Aria with his hand over his heart. I will never forget the pain and despair lacing all of Roar’s words and stares. As much as I value a firm and well thought-out plot, a book is nothing to me without that personal, affecting core. I feel Rossi gets it exactly right every time.

What I appreciate most of all here is Roar and Aria’s relationship, a purely platonic friendship that is as equally heart-warming and natural as Aria and Perry’s romance. This is shedloads more effective than any unnecessary and convoluted love triangle route, and I admire Rossi for keeping these books free of trite clichés. The romance, too, is miraculously drama-free, even if not always smooth or without brief moments of non-communication. It’s continuously clear that Perry and Aria complement each other, that they help build each other, all while being able to stand as strong characters on their own. This is a romance that feels equal, and now, one of my absolute favourites in YA.

There are several other important characters that leave an impression, besides the main two and Roar, and the most surprising of them all is Soren, Hess’ son. This is someone who I had little opinion of, to begin with, and a yet a character that manages to transform into so much more in this final instalment. Brooke and Cinder are also incredibly easy to appreciate. Together, they all perfectly showcase Rossi’s wonderful characterisation skills.

If there’s one thing that could be improved, it is the ending. It’s somewhat anti-climactic, with a few complications being glossed over too quickly or solved too conveniently. As these events have been on the horizon from the very start of the trilogy, it’s a little disappointing to not have more of an elaborate end. That said, it’s a small flaw in comparison to everything else that has been done well, and it’s impossible not to be satisfied anyway. This is a trilogy that is leaps and bounds above some of the others in its genre, and one that I have no doubt I’ll revisit again. I know I’ll miss these characters terribly, but I’m extremely eager to see what Rossi does next.

Rating: 4 stars

117 comments:

  1. I'm super excited to get this book, I can't believe it's only 23 days left! Honestly I'm very nervous to read this book, I love the characters so much and it'll be hard to say goodbye to them. But I'm glad you love it. I agree how interesting relationships in this series. Perry and Aria are very loveable, Perry and Roar, Roar and Aria, they are fantastic. I'm curious with what you said about Soren, I actually kinda like his character in TTEN.
    Anyway thanks for review, it makes me relief to know this book is not dissapointed! :)

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    1. It's always hard to say goodbye to favourite characters, but I hope the final book lives up to your expectations! I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll think of Soren in this one. And I'm glad you're a fan of Aria, Perry and Roar too. I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did!

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  2. I actually have nothing to say to this Sam.
    Your review says it all. It was perfect. Everything you said is true. These characters will never be forgotten and I guess this is why this series shines out so much. It isn't that the plot is extraordinary. It's not. Neither is the world building. The characters and their relationships are what make these books shine. They are what breathe life into the story. They are what we'll remember for a long time after.

    Wonderful review, Sam :)

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    1. Aww, thank you so much, Rashika! I'm so glad you agree. I don't think this series would be nearly as interesting if it didn't have such great characters. They do breathe life into the story - that's a great way to put it!

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  3. Thank you for a fantastic review Sam!
    I'm so excited to finally read this one, even if like you, I will be missing Aria and Perry so much once the book is over! A final book is always so bittersweet!

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    1. It is always very bittersweet. It's hard not to miss characters like these, but I can't wait to re-read this whole trilogy someday in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think!

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  4. I agree that the ending to this one was anticlimactic. It was a quiet conclusion, one that lacked any huge reveal to shock readers, but it was still very strong. I loved Roar and Aria's relationship in this novel, as well as how seamlessly Aria and Perry understand one another despite the difficulties they face. I can't wait for Rossi to write another great book, now - I just need more from her. Lovely review, Sam!

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    1. It was very quiet, perhaps quieter than I was expecting, but it didn't really feel like a substantial flaw in the end. I'm so glad you enjoyed it too, Keertana! I remember Veronica mentioning a YA fantasy series a few months ago, so I hope that's something we'll get to see eventually.

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  5. For spoiler reasons I haven't read it all. But this is one series that I really hope to read in 2014. I have all the books but I haven't gotten round to them yet. But I've heard some brilliant reviews and some obvious romantic relations that I'm very interested in reading. Lovely review. :)

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    1. I really think you'll enjoy this series, Emma, especially as we usually agree on most titles! I hope you can pick up the first book soon. I can't wait to see what you think!

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  6. What a wonderful review on the book and the series ending. I'm glad it ended to your liking and that the characters are the type to stay with you long after the story is done. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Kim! I'm relieved that the series ended on a strong note.

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  7. "I will never forget Perry walking away and turning around to face Aria with his hand over his heart."

    MY HEART. <3
    Great review, Sam! So many series are ending this year, but this is without a doubt my most anticipated. I think I'll probably cry when I have to say goodbye to Perry, Aria, and Roar. :(

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    1. I can't tell you how much I loved that moment. And I'm SO looking forward to seeing what you think, Danielle! Thankfully there isn't too long left to wait, especially if you're waiting on the US copy.

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  8. Perry and Aria's romance is one of my very favorites as well, I'm actually making a blog post about that soon. :) And I loved the fact that Rossi created the wonderful friendship instead of a triangle with her and Roar as well. Glad you liked Into The Still Blue, I'm really looking forward to finally getting to read it myself soon. :D And great review as always. :)

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    1. I'm glad you're a fan too, Alexa, and I can't wait to read your blog post! I admire Rossi a lot for her handling of Roar and Aria's relationship. I wish we could see more like that in YA. I hope Into the Still Blue lives up to your expectations. And thank you!

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  9. Beautiful review Sam. I adore this series and feel that the characters and their relationships are the best aspect of the books, though I love the story arc as well. I can't agree more with everything you said. Just a beautiful conclusion to a great series. I can't wait to see what Rossi does next.

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    1. I do like the story aspect too, but I don't think this series would be nearly as strong if it wasn't for the characters. I'm so glad you agree!

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  10. I so loved the romance between Aria and Perry too. I was super glad that there was no love triangle and that they weren't getting all mad and estranged from each other in this book. This is a fantastic series that I totally loved. Thanks for the great review.

    And I'm a new follower and so impressed with your blog and all the comments you get. So glad I found your blog.

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    1. I'm pleased to hear you were a fan of this one too, Natalie! The romance is one of my favourite aspects, and I'm so thrilled Veronica Rossi developed it the way she did. This will be a hard series to let go of!

      And thank you so very much! I'm happy that you commented that first time, as I got to discover your wonderful blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. I was surprised by Soren in this book too, and I completely agree with you about the importance of Roar and Aria's relationship. But overall, I felt that the ending was terribly rushed. I love epilogues, especially after such a long journey, and this ending wasn't satisfying in the least.
    Still, the trilogy as a whole remains one of my all-time faves.

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    1. I typically don't enjoy epilogues very much - at least, I haven't liked very many in the last three or four years! - but I do agree that the ending was somewhat rushed. I'm sorry that you didn't find it very satisfying, overall, but I'm glad you're still a fan of the series.

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  12. You've just described this book perfectly for me! I loved it, but you're right - the ending was a bit anti-climatic... Loved the friendship between Aria and Roar, and then all of the other relationships.

    Tabitha @ Tabitha's Book Blog

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    1. I'm so glad you agree, Tabitha! The relationships in this series are some of my absolute favourites. I love when characters can draw you in like that.

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  13. I just read the prequel to this one..yesterday I think it was LOL, anyways, I really enjoyed it and I look forward to starting this series.

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    1. I look forward to seeing what you think, Ali! I haven't read all the novellas for this series yet, but I know I'll definitely have to make time for them in the future. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  14. Oh I really must read this series! I have Under the Never Sky on my TBR pile and it feels like it has been there since forever. I skimmed through this review as I don't want to be spoiled, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one :) You've definitely reminded me to read this series soon. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Zoe! I really hope you'll enjoy Under the Never Sky! For a debut novel, I thought it was very impressive. I can't wait to see what you think. :)

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  15. This sounds really impressive! I haven't read this series yet but after reading Renu's and now your review, I know I must read the books. It's so good to know that platonic friendship plays a precious part among the characters. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think you could really enjoy these books, Henrietta! I hope you'll be able to make a start on the series soon. :) I look forward to your thoughts.

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  16. SO relieved there's no love triangle. I was worried about that after I finished book 2. I adore Roar and his relationship with Aria. It's great to see a platonic relationship between a guy and a girl. You don't see that very often in books anymore.

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    1. I'm incredibly relieved too. I wondered part way through book two if it would go in that direction, but I'm so glad Rossi didn't opt for any formulaic routes. I really wish we could see more authors making that choice in YA.

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  17. Happy this was the perfect goodbye for this trilogy for you Sam! Don't want to ruin it for myself but it sounds like you really enjoyed it. I especially like that there is a simple friendship/relationship in the story that doesn't get romantic. There isn't enough of that in YA.

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    1. It's a real shame that there isn't, as I honestly think they work so much better than messy and unrealistic romances. Thanks, Adriana! If you haven't started this series yet, I hope you'll consider giving the first book a try!

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  18. I haven't read the first two books so I'll read your review once I get to read them. I must say I'm so glad you enjoyed and it's always awesome when the last book is decent and doesn't ruin the whole impression of the series. Great review, Sam :)

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    1. TANJA. I didn't realise you hadn't started this series yet! I definitely think it's the sort of thing you'd enjoy. And it's always such a huge relief when the final book is a strong one. I can think of many many final instalments that have soured my opinion of the whole series!

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  19. I think your review nailed my thoughts about this one, Sam! I love Roar and Aria's friendship just as much as I love the romance and know that I'll probably reread or skim parts of this series again in the future even though the ending was a bit anticlimatic.

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    1. Thanks, Z! I'm so glad you agree. It's not often that I find friendships that are as well-written as romances in YA these days, so it's definitely something that is easily appreciated when it does happen.

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  20. SAM, your review brought tears to my eyes! I love this series immensely, and found this to be a perfect conclusion. Everything you mentioned, I agree with. Thanks for the gorgeous review!

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    1. Aww thank you, Andrea. <3 I'm so glad you're a fan of this series too, and that the conclusion was everything you could have wanted. I'm very sad that it's over, but I hope there will be more from Rossi soon. :)

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  21. Sorry that the ending was kinda underwhelming, it's a shame when it doesn't wow you! Roaaaaaar is one of the best characters of the series, I totally agree that his friendship with Aria was just as important as the romance with Perry. Fantastic review, Sam!

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    1. It was a very slight disappointment in comparison to the rest, so I'm not too hung up about it. The book was still incredible as a whole. And yay! I'm glad you're a Roar fan too. He's probably one of my favourite secondary characters of all time now.

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  22. Sam, I agree with you completely! Rossi has a way with making her characters so entirely memorable and hard to forget. Aria and Perry will always remain in my heart. Similar to what you said, I love how Rossi brings out the best of the other characters as well, I was really surprised with Soren's outcome as a character, along with his growth. And thank goodness there was no love triangle with Roar, Aria, and Perry! I bow down to Rossi for making Aria and Roar's friendship so genuine and heartfelt. The ending was, yes, a bit simple, but satisfying nevertheless. Gorgeous review, Sam!

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    1. Thanks, Jen! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book too. The characters are really fantastic, aren't they? I don't think I'd enjoy this series half as much if they weren't all so well developed. And it just goes to show that romance isn't always the answer. Roar and Aria's relationship is a highlight of this series for me, and I doubt I could say that if it hadn't remained purely platonic. I'm glad you agree!

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  23. What a beautiful review, Sam. I know I'm going to love this one judging from your feelings. I completely agree with what you said about the characters. To me, they are what made this series stand out above the rest of YA dystopians. I've grown to care for and love these characters as though they were my own friends. I also really appreciated how Rossi didn't feel the need to add unnecessary drama, typical YA tropes (a.k.a LOVE TRIANGLES) or try to shock readers (ALLEGIANT - As you can tell, I'm still quite mad about that one). I'm sad and at the same time very excited to finish this series. Lovely review, Sam.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nick. I really can't wait to see what you think of this! It looks like most people have been impressed so far, so I hope you aren't disappointed either. And I'm sure that both of us could make a lengthy list of final instalments that failed to work. Thankfully, ItSB doesn't fall into that category at all. I look forward to your thoughts!

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  24. I wholeheartedly agree with you about the friendship with Roar being better than any love-triangle. I was sad to see this trilogy end, but I loved it.

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    1. It's hard saying goodbye to a series like this! I'm really sad to see it end too, but I couldn't be happier with how it has all wrapped up. Now I can't wait to see what Rossi does next. :)

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  25. Lovely review Sam, of course I have book one and still haven't read it, but this sounds like such a wonderfully developed story. I am hoping to get to it in March for Take Control. Wonderful review :)

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    1. I hope you do manage to get to it in March, Kimba! At least you'll have the benefit of reading the series in one go, if the first book works for you. That's always the good thing about starting a series late - no waiting for the next books!

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  26. I'm very curious what authors with very successful series do next, too--I am still WAITING on Cynthia Hand's announcement, for example. :P But if I recall correctly, didn't Rossi set up a write-for-hire shop like Lauren Oliver? Anyway, I digress.

    I actually had very mixed feelings towards the first book, but I have to confess everyone's raves about books two and three make me reconsider wanting to move on with the series. I'm glad this ended up being an overall satisfying ending for you, Sam! It's always hard to let go of characters we love. I hope you find something NEW to love very soon. <3

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Yes, she did! I believe it's called Wildcard Storymakers. I haven't been paying it much attention, though. I'm more interested in seeing what she'll be writing next. She mentioned a YA fantasy series a while ago (on top of her NA release under Noelle August) which I hope to hear more about.

      I do think Through the Ever Night is stronger than the first book, but then I was a big fan of both, so I'm not sure if you'd agree! But if you do end up giving it a try one day, I hope it works better for you. :) Thanks, Wendy!

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  27. Like, you know I want to read this review bad, right? RIGHT? :'[ I can't. I'm so sorry. I still need to re-read Under the Never Sky and read Through the Ever Night and then this one. Gaaahhhhh!!!!! I fail at life. I do know that everyone has mostly kind words to say about the finale of this amazeballs trilogy and I can't wait to read your review when I'm done with writing mine. I'll bookmark it so I can :) And lots and lots of love towards that 4 stars at the end of your review. You are one hard girl to impress, my friend:)

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    1. I'm SO looking forward to seeing what you think of Through the Ever Night, Siiri. It's my favourite installment of the series. I just saw your post, so I'm glad to hear you'll be getting around to them soon! And ha, I can be hard to impress sometimes. Especially when it comes to this genre, as I feel like I've tried everything.

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  28. Glad to know that you loved this one, Sam! It's kind of hard to find series enders that would measure up to their predecessors. I haven't really started this series yet (well, I did, but I abandoned it because I found the heroine annoying), but seeing all these praising reviews, I am now pressured as hell :P think it's time to shell out some cash and invest in this series! Thanks for the review :)

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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    1. Absolutely! I know I've often reached the end of a series I've loved only to be disappointed by the final book. It's definitely a relief when everything wraps up well. A friend of mine also wasn't Aria's biggest fan to start with, but she did eventually grow to appreciate her. So I hope you will feel the same way. Thanks, Faye!

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  29. Yet another YA series I haven't read yet but I'm hoping to change that soon. One of my goals for 2014 is to read more YA and this series is one I've been curious about for a while. Great review Sam!

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    1. Thanks, Anna! This is one of my favourite series in YA at the moment, so I really hope you will like it too. :)

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  30. I am finally getting to this series. I am almost done with Through the Ever Night and have this book ready to go. I am so happy to hear that the friendship between Aria and Roar stays nothing more than a solid friendship, I was beginning to worry about that. It is so nice to have that rather than a love triangle. Love the world building, the characters and the story. So glad to hear it ends well! Lovely review as always, Sam.

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    1. Okay back again... liked this but I think that the ending and the situation with Cinder was too glossed over. I also thought that pulling out the whole story with Roar and Liv and putting it into a novella which not everyone has access too really lessened the emotional impact.

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    2. I completely agree with you about the ending, Heidi. I too thought the situation with Cinder didn't get nearly as much attention as it deserved. But that said, it didn't really affect my opinion of the whole book too much. I was still really happy overall. I just read your review - I'm glad that it was a satisfying final book for you too!

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  31. I totally agree with everything you said in this review, Sam! I love Roar so much, and his personality is so well-developed. I also agree about what you said about Aria and Roar's relationship, we almost never get to see a friendship that doesn't eventually become a love triangle. Fantastic review! <33

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! I'm so glad you're a Roar fan too. He has to be one of the best secondary characters that I've come across in YA in recent years. His and Aria's relationship is the sort of thing that I'd love to see more of.

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  32. I read the first book and liked it well enough but still need to get around to reading the second. I can agree about the friendship though, Roar and Aria are just so perfect together as friends, and you are right-nothing more. Great review! Glad to hear this series ended well!

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    1. The second is my favourite of the trilogy. I liked the first book a lot, but I felt everything was even better in the sequel. I hope you enjoy it!

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  33. Oh my goodness I could not agree more with this review! My favorite relationship in the series is Roar and Aria's friendship, and I am so thankful it never veered into cliched territory. "This is shedloads more effective than any unnecessary and convoluted love triangle route, and I admire Rossi for keeping these books free of trite clichés." Yes, perfectly put! I'm so glad you enjoyed this, even if the ending could have been a bit more elaborate. It still remains one of my favorite post-apocalyptic/dystopian YA series. Beautiful review!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lauren! I'm thrilled that you loved this book too. It's such a relief to have a healthy friendship between a male and female character that doesn't develop into an unnecessary romance. I'm hoping to see more of this situation in YA. :)

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  34. Wonderful review, Sam! I was so pleased with how this series turned out and I'll be sorry to let these characters go. :)

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    1. Me too, Rachel! I'll miss them a lot, especially Aria, Perry and Roar. I can't wait to see what Rossi does next in YA though. :)

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  35. I've never read this series, but your review was beautiful Sam! I like that this series seems to have platonic relationships that work. It's always refreshing to see those relationships since sometimes you're unable to find books where boys and girls are just friends and nothing more happens. I really love it when books just portray friendships without any romance added to them. Is this a dystopian series?

    Cheers,
    Savindi

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    1. It is definitely refreshing. Also sadly not as common as I think it should be in YA. I'm hoping more authors will start to follow in Rossi's footsteps. And I wouldn't say this is strictly dystopian, but there is some genre overlap. For me, however, this series is more post-apocalyptic.

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  36. Amazing review Sam. <3 I'm glad you loved this last book; even if you didn't fully love it :) But happy you love the characters so much. I do too. Sigh. Perry is amazing. <3 And I am also beyond happy about the non-love-triangle. Though I do think I was sort of worried about it in the first book. Glad it never happened, hih. Anyway. Thank you for sharing yet another amazing review. <3

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    1. Thank you, Carina! Perry is just wonderful, isn't he? He's definitely the sort of love interest that is easy to remember, even when you meet so many others. And I was worried that we might get a love triangle too, though I think that's because I now always worry about that. I'm glad that it didn't happen too. :)

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  37. Under The Never Sky is sitting on my bookshelf, mocking me because I haven't read it. I WILL NEXT!

    Also, the fact that Into The Still Blue doesn't have a love triangle is already making me that much more excited. Love triangles and I are old enemies :P

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    1. You and me both, Allie! There are rare instances where I can sometimes put up with love triangles, but most of the time, I really can't stand them. And I hope you enjoy Under the Never Sky! I can't wait to see what you think.

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  38. I skimmed through the review, since I haven't read books 2 and 3. I know my relationship with the first one wasn't as good as so many other readers, but I think I'll reread it, if only to remind myself what happened, and hopefully that might change. I'm glad this was such a great ending to the trilogy for you, Sam, even if the very end was a little bit lacking. Having an author create the experience you had with these characters is truly something special. :)

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    1. I know a couple of people who weren't as blown away by the first book, but still ended up enjoying the rest of the series. Hopefully the same thing will happen for you!

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  39. I also really love Aria and Roar's friendship. It never crossed the line or even went near it and that made it so unique. The ending IS a bit anticlimactic but I'm just glad the characters I love are fine lol.

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    1. I agree! It may have been slightly anticlimactic, but I'm also glad that it hasn't left me in pieces. I'm happy to hear that you appreciated Aria and Roar's friendship too. :)

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  40. Fabulous review Sam! I definitely seem to be in the minority, because Under the Never Sky was completely "meh" for me. (I have a feeling it was my fault though!) I'll take your word on it and I'll definitely finish the series. This sounds really good in terms of having really well-developed, fleshed-out characters, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing that for myself! Plus...the romance sounds awesome!

    As always, brilliant review Sam and thanks for sharing! xD

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    1. I know a few others who felt the same way, Zoe, so you're not alone! I also know that the series improved for them, so I hope that you will feel the same way too. The romance is definitely one of my favourite parts. I hope you enjoy it! :)

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  41. I was so sad to leave this world, but I thought Into The Still Blue was an amazing conclusion! I agree with you about Aria and Roar having such a great friendship. Fantastic review :)

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    1. Me too, Montana! I hate saying goodbye to a favourite series, especially when I love the characters so dearly. I'm glad that everything wrapped up well though. Thank you! :)

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  42. sounds like an awesome journey and great character development! endings are tough. i mostly like the happy kind and expect it, but i like to be surprised as well!

    happy friday!

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    1. I am definitely a HEA kind of girl too, but I do also think endings should be realistic and match the situation/story that the characters are actually in. It can be hard to get right! But I'm happy with this book overall. I hope you'll consider giving it a try. :)

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  43. I was so afraid to read your review Sam (so I'm sorry I skimmed your review!)! lol ;p I actually haven't (and am prob the only person in the universe who hasn't) read this series yet (summer goal!). I have heard fantastic things about it, but I don't know why I'm hesitating? O__O Although, I am glad this proved to be a worthy end to the trilogy. It sounds like a fabulous story and world and full of great characters. I can't wait to meet Aria, Perry and Roar.

    Fabulous review, Sam! :D

    ~ Maida

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think of this series when you get around to it, Maida. A good thing will be not having to wait for any of the sequels, which is always my favourite thing about starting a series late. I really hope you enjoy it! :)

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  44. Hi Sam,
    I'm in love with this series. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of this yet. I'm planning to buy it this week. Aria and Roar and my favorite and I can't wait to meet them again soon. Many readers are complaining about how the story ended. I hope it's not like Allegiant lol :D

    -Dannielle

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    1. I haven't actually read Allegient, but I know how it ended and I can assure you that it's definitely not that bad. I can't wait to see what you think of it! I hope the final book lives up to your expectations.

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  45. I totally agree Sam, the ending felt a little rushed and could have a few more pages but the friendship between Aria and Roar is beyond perfect!

    Great review, Sam! <33

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    1. Judging from the comments, it looks like a lot of us felt the same way about the ending! I'm glad that you were able to appreciate this book despite that too, though. Thank you!

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  46. Now I want to try reading the series again. I stopped somewhere in the first book for some reason and didn't get back to it.

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    1. I know the first book wasn't a smooth read for a few people, but I definitely think the series gets better as it goes on. I hope you enjoy it if/when you get back to it!

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  47. I'm excited to read this one, Sam, but I'm dreading saying goodbye to this series. Your four-star rating gives me hope that I'll come away satisfied -- even with your disappointment with the ending. Beautiful review, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Michele. I can't wait to see what you think! I always dread saying goodbye to a series that I love too, but I'm so pleased that it all wrapped up well for me. I hope it lives up to your expectations!

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  48. "As much as I value a firm and well thought-out plot, a book is nothing to me without that personal, affecting core"

    *nods* And it is so encouraging to me that you felt such fondness for so many characters in this series (which I still have not read). And the absence of a love triangle? Seriously? How amazingly rare is that? I really cannot wait to meet the trio once I finally get to reading this series. It is a bit too bad that the ending was anti-climactic, but it doesn't sound bad at all when I compare it to some of the series' enders I've read recently. And if it is a series that you've given all around praise to, then I'm excited to read it, too!

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    1. It IS rare, especially in YA. Which is quite sad. I can't wait for you to meet Aria, Perry and Roar, Aylee! I think this series will be your sort of thing. I can't wait to see what you think when/if you get around to it. :)

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  49. I won't read your review just yet Sam. You know I haven't read the previous two books in this series but I truly cannot wait to read them. I have heard amazing things about this one and from your rating I can see you enjoyed it, which is amazing. Great review, Sam :)

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think! I really hope this series will live up to your expectations. Thanks, Tanja. :)

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  50. Ah, the fabulous relationship between Aria and Roar. I love that Rossi does a great job at keeping a platonic relationship because that's not common in YA. I haven't read this yet (I am SO excited), but I'm already letdown at the mention of the ending because that it's anticlimatic seems to be the popular sentiment. But I'm glad it didn't ruin the book as a whole for you!

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    1. A lot of people do seem to have felt similarly about the ending. But I don't think it takes too much away from the book, and I hope you will agree! I can't wait to see what you think of it, Summer.

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  51. Planning to read Into The Still Blue this weekend and now I'm even more excited to find out how the series ends. I love Veronica Rossi's characters and their relationships, too. Roar is one of my favourite secondary characters. Really hope I'm more okay with the ending. I'm a bit concerned, because I'm very critical when it comes to open plot holes towards the end of a trilogy or like you say "complications being glossed over too quickly".I will find out very soon. As always great review!

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    1. I really hope you aren't disappointed, Sarah! The ending didn't take too much away from the book for me, and I hope you will feel the same way. I'm so glad to hear you're a Roar fan too! He's definitely one of the best secondary characters I have come across in YA. I miss him already. :)

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  52. I think that one of the best things about the series is the friendship between Aria and Roar, everyone's reviews always talk about that. I've only read the first book but can already see that their friendship is going to be one of my favorites. I have heard that about the ending a lot, too-it being kind of short. Glad you enjoyed it overall!

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    1. Roar and Aria's relationship is definitely one of the things that I'll remember most dearly about this series. I really hope you will appreciate it too as you continue the series. Thanks, Alise!

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  53. I love the colors of the cover! I'm very curious about this series but I don't know when to start reading it ;)

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    1. Me too! Though I do think I prefer the UK covers for books one and two. And I hope you can make time for this series soon! It's definitely worth it. :)

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  54. Hey, you doing okay, Sam? You've been quiet lately, just checking in...

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    1. Completely okay. I've simply decided not to post as frequently this year so I can concentrate on a few other commitments, but I didn't think anyone would really notice. ;) Thanks for checking!

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    2. Of course I noticed! I understand about taking the time to balance life, though. It's kind of interesting, this year has been so much better for me blogging-wise because we have 4 people and we're posting on a semi-set schedule now, which helps considerably with finding time to visit people more often. But I still have to set more parameters so I'm not so wrapped up in the blog all the time.

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  55. It's already out but I'm scared to read it hahah don't want the series to end :( I'm really glad that it was a solid finish, and still as emotional and action-packed as the others, great review!

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    1. It's hard letting go, right? I hope you aren't let down when you do eventually decide to pick it up! Thanks, Chantelle. :)

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  56. I only read book 1 in this series but the love for this finale has me wanting to finish it asap. I love how character oriented the first one was and it seems that it stays that way until the end. And can I say how refreshing it is to have a purely platonic boy/girl friendship! I love it! I wish there was more of this instead of the dreaded love triangle! Bleh! I'm so happy when a series ends on such a good note. I def. have to finish this one!

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    1. The series definitely feels quite character-driven at times, so I hope the last two books work for you. And yes! I completely agree. I would love see to more relationships like Aria and Roar's in YA fiction, especially in place of unnecessary love triangles. Hope you enjoy the rest of the trilogy, Giselle!

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  57. I'm so nervous to read this book, Sam! Loving the first two books was such a surprise for me and your comment about the ending has me a little worried, but I'm just going to read it and hope for the best ;)

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    1. Don't be too worried! I would have liked a little more, but all considered, I am very happy overall. :) I really hope it works for you!

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  58. After reading the first two books in this series, was eagerly awaiting the last book in trilogy. Doesn't disappoint! Good mix of established characters and storyline in concluding this story. Wrapping up loose ends.

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