Book Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The Blood of OlympussTitle: The Blood of Olympus

Series: The Heroes of Olympus, #5

Author: Rick Riordan

Summary: Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over. -Goodreads

Review:

*Non-Spoilery Section

Today I am here with my review of The Blood of Olympus, the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus series, by Rick Riordan.  We’ve been waiting for this book for a long time, guys, and it was so exciting to finally be able to have it and read it.  And despite my enjoyment of the book, I have very conflicted feelings about it, especially taking a day after I finished it to reflect on it when I wasn’t as emotional.

I feel like it’s very difficult to write a phenomenal series finale.  Suzanne Collins couldn’t do it.  Veronica Roth couldn’t do it.  And, sadly, despite loving his other finales, Rick just didn’t satisfy me with this book.  I didn’t get enough time with some of my favorite characters, and I feel like the book was focused too much on characters I wasn’t fond of.  Reading the dust jacket, I had an idea of whose POVs we’d be getting in this book, but it wasn’t enough.  I remember continuously flipping back to the summary flap to reread it, just to make sure I wasn’t missing any characters, but no.

I did love the character growth in all of the characters that were focused on.  I have to say, though, I can’t really connect with Piper.  We got a little more insight on Jason, Reyna, and Nico, though, which was fantastic.  I really love Nico, but thinking about him now makes me want to change a past statement of mine about him (see spoilery section).

To wrap up this non-spoilery section, The Blood of Olympus had a lot of potential.  There were so many storylines that were explored throughout this series, but Rick left us with a lot of loose ends.  I felt like there was no closure.  I’m hoping that was intentional, because I hate being disappointed at this book.  I hope Rick is going somewhere with this ending, possibly in his upcoming Norse mythology series.

Nevertheless, thank you for a fantastic journey.  I won’t forget it.

*Warning: Spoilery section!

I didn’t take notes while reading this because I just wanted to enjoy the book.  I’m hoping I remember everything I wanted to remember, though.

As stated above, I was a little disappointed with how things turned out.  Let’s talk about some of those things first, just to get them out of the way.

POVs: I think this is probably one of the things people were the most disappointed with.  In The Blood of Olympus, our last journey with these lovely characters, we got to see through the eyes of Jason, Piper, Leo, Reyna, and Nico.  The reason why people have been so disappointed with this character selection was the lack of Percy, and even Annabeth.  We didn’t get any chapters with these characters, and while I understand why Rick finished off the series with these characters (especially Jason, Piper, and Leo), I still feel that we should have gotten at least one chapter with Percy and Annabeth.

I feel like Jason, Reyna, and Nico grew in this book.  We really got to go in depth and see everything that was going on with them.  Leo and Piper didn’t seem to get much character development in this book, though.

Jason: I know a lot of people aren’t Jason’s biggest fan, but I think he was pretty good in this book.  I really grew to like him a lot more in this book.  At first, I thought Rick was doing that intentionally, making everyone become more partial to all the characters to suddenly kill them out of nowhere.  But that wasn’t the case.  Jason definitely had some good moments, and though I like him more than I did in the rest of the series, he’s still not a favorite.

There was something in Jason’s POV that had bothered me.  It was when he was thinking about how he used to try to change his fate, like by befriending the least-popular kids at Camp Jupiter.

Whoa, whoa, whoa—hold the phone.  Those sound like selfish reasons to make friends.  I really didn’t like that.

Piper: Ah, Piper.  I really can’t relate to her at all.  Just thinking back on her character, I draw a blank.  I know I definitely liked her a bit better in this book, I just don’t know why.  Maybe because it’s the end of these books, and I was sad.

Leo: I feel like there were too few Leo chapters, and he was very different in this book, it seemed.  The characters have gone through so much, but Leo was startlingly different, and we didn’t get much time with him, or so it felt.  I also felt that Calypso wasn’t a big part of this book (literally—we only saw her in the last few pages of the book, which I now understand, since she didn’t have a POV).

I knew he wasn’t dead, especially since the hints being dropped toward his “death” were so apparent.  I was really confused by his plan, too.  I knew he wouldn’t be dead, even though it was stated he was dead, and it wasn’t a big shocker when our last chapter was a Leo chapter, especially with Nico saying, “His death felt different than others.”  If we were going for shock with that last chapter, it most definitely could have been executed better.  I did cry, though, but I knew Leo wasn’t really dead.

But what really got me was that ending.  As stated above, I felt no closure with The Blood of Olympus.  In the end, Leo found Calypso, but… they didn’t go back to Camp!  Or, it’s not something that was shown.  How could you leave us with such an open ending?!  They just ride off into the distance?!  NO!  And what’s worse is that nobody really knows that Leo’s alive.  They want to believe he’s alive, but they don’t really know it.

Reyna: Reyna was truly amazing.  I love how she was portrayed in this book.  She’s such a strong character who’s been through so much but still came out okay.  I really liked her group, with Nico and Hedge.  That was definitely an unlikely bunch, but I feel like they each contributed so much in getting the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood safely.  Reyna was a brave hero.

Nico: Nico, Nico, Nico.  I feel like I’m saying this about all the characters, but it’s justified: He’s been through a lot.  He had a lot on his shoulders.   I love his newfound friendship with Reyna, and how they were able to relate a bit.  I loved their bond, how Reyna was constantly lending him her strength and energy.  I feel like Nico grew a lot, and I’m really happy that he decided to stay at Camp Half-Blood.

Finding out that Nico was gay was rushed, thinking back on it.  It was too sudden, but I guess I’ll have to go back and read PJO again before I can state an opinion.  I shipped Will Solace and Nico after I finished the book, because my feels were hurting, but after thinking it over, I would be happy if they had a friendship.  When I read the book at first, I hadn’t realized that a romantic relationship between the two had been alluded to, but after someone told me about it, I kind of liked the idea.

Now, I just want Nico to find some friends, and he did.  He has Reyna and Coach and now Will, and I’m sure he’s going to find a lot more.

I really loved how Nico told Percy about his crush, and I think Annabeth was amused by Percy’s reaction.  I mean, he was so oblivious and confused, and Nico was like, “I mean, you’re cute and all, but you’re not my type.”

And Percy was like, “I’m not you’re type?”  Gold, guys.

Other Characters: There are a few other characters whose eyes we didn’t get to see through: Percy, Annabeth, Hazel, and Frank.  Though I’ve never been too big on Hazel and Frank, I do want to discuss Percy and Annabeth.

Percy and Annabeth: With each book in this series were different central characters.  In this book, they were the characters listed above.  Yes, Percy and Annabeth did have their own places in the series, but with everything that happened in The House of Hades, you’d think we’d get to see what was going on with these two.  I mean, everything they went through opened doors to some major character development for the two!  They literally went through hell and back.  Did they suffer any PTSD?  I feel like that was hinted at a bit, but I wish Rich had explored this.

Percy: The ending with Percy really bugged me.  I get that he wasn’t a big character in this book, but you’d think he’d visit his mom after all this, or at least mention in passing that he’d just been to see his mom.  I wanted a Sally reunion, I wanted a Grover reunion, a Chiron reunion.  Maybe even a Clarisse reunion!

Annabeth: I had no idea that Annabeth and Piper had been so close.  I don’t remember that in the previous books, but maybe that was a thing.  That scene with Annabeth and Piper down in that hole-maze place, though, kind of showed Annabeth’s fear.  I feel like, after Tartarus, she was more prone to flashbacks during her time there during a battle, and that kind of happened down in that hole place (I can’t remember the details).  And then there was that whole Annabeth being the “logical” fighter/strategist and Piper being the “emotional” fighter/strategist.  I thought it was nonsense.  I didn’t like that whole Piper thing, but I did like hers and Annabeth’s friendship.

Another thing I wanted to bring up was Magnus Chase, who people are speculating is Annabeth’s cousin, who she mentioned in the book.  She said she had an uncle in Boston, but there was a rivalry between the uncle and her father.  I’m pretty sure the Norse books are based in Massachusetts, so there’s some clever foreshadowing there, which totally flew over my head until I read some speculation.  Does this mean maybe a little more Percabeth in later books…?  I’m very excited to know what’s going on here!

Frank: I really expected something to go down with his firewood.  I expected something, anything, but I feel like he wasn’t even a big part of this book!  I mean, he went through this whole transformation (I feel like it was mostly physical to make him more attractive), and yet… nothing.  He understands himself now, and what he’s capable of, which is awesome, but I feel like he didn’t develop enough emotionally.

Though I didn’t want any characters to die (and I had a feeling no one would), we were told that someone would.  Leo’s death didn’t even count, because he was resurrected.  Ugh, I don’t know.  I don’t know how I felt about that.  (Spoilers for City of Heavenly Fire: I feel like the whole book was very reminiscent to City of Heavenly Fire.  It was a good read, interesting and all, but in the end, no one extremely important died.  End of spoilers.)

The Final Battle: I feel like the final battle was a bit anticlimactic.  Gaea’s rise wasn’t all too impressive, and throughout the whole book, Leo and his plan was pushed a little too hard.  That bugged me a lot.  And, like I said, there were no deaths.  I’m glad none of our favorite characters died, but this was really misleading.  I had no idea all it took was blood from a cut on Annabeth’s thigh and a nosebleed from Percy to awaken Gaea.  THAT WAS VERY ANTICLIMACTIC.  A NOSEBLEED?! 

The Second-To-Last Battle: I really liked how all the demigods paired up with their godly parents while fighting those giants.  Percy with Poseidon, Annabeth with Athena, Zeus with Jason, Frank with an overenthusiastic Ares, Leo and Hephaestus, Piper and Aphrodite.  Hades wasn’t present, but he was helping Hazel from the Underworld.

The thing is… Did Athena ever acknowledge what Annabeth achieved?  What she went through?  I didn’t really care about Zeus and Jason’s interaction, what about Athena and Annabeth?

The End: I knew that there wouldn’t be an epilogue a long time ago, due to Rick Riordan’s Twitter, and I was cool with that.  But, since that ending, I wish there had been an epilogue.  I didn’t even have to be something that far into the future!  Just something to let us know that Leo was reunited with his friends.  They could have had a picnic at the park or something stupid like that, but it would have meant a lot and would have made the book ten times better.


Recap: The last book in a series is always going to be hit or miss.  I feel like The Blood of Olympus was somewhere in the middle.  There were some things I liked about it, like Reyna, Nico, and Hedge, and the familiar humor, but there were things that bothered me.

I really loved that some of the characters got some development.  We didn’t really get to see much of other characters (who were more like side characters), so I can’t really say if they had a significant amount of development.

I really expected more of Frank, Percy, and Annabeth.  Rick could have gone deeper into Percabeth’s experiences in Tartarus, and the aftermath and how those experiences changed them.

This book didn’t knock me off my feet.  The Last Olympian was fantastic, from what I remember.  But this… it kind of fell flat.  I think that, with a series you really love, you have to give it time before you form opinions, because you’ll be too emotional to say you didn’t like some parts.  That’s what happened with me.

The Blood of Olympus was an enjoyable read.  It wasn’t my favorite in the series.  When I first finished it, I gave it a 5/5, but I feel like I have to bring this book down a star.  It makes me really sad to do that, because I love these books.

So, 4/5 stars for this book!  I had a fantastic time reading it, regardless.  I loved all the hype surrounding the book, and I’m so glad I got to be apart of the hype.  I started the Percy Jackson books when I was ten, and now it’s all over.

I’m really looking forward to the Norse books, though.  Bring it on!

 

The Blood of Olympus

Hey, everyone!  I’m here with a short post to talk about The Blood of Olympus before it comes out.  This is a very exciting release for many, but it will also be sad, since many people have been with both this series and the original series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, since the beginning.

I, personally, started reading the Percy Jackson books in 2010, but I didn’t finish the series until 2012, when I reread the first book and continued the series.  After finishing that series, though, I remember feeling awful that that was the end.  So I hopped onto the computer to find that there was a spinoff series—and it would include some of the original characters!

After discovering this, I quickly ordered the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series and read it, devouring the rest of the series.  I then bought The House of Hades, which was a very special preorder for me, since I believe that was my first preorder.  There was a little drama while I read this book, considering it was missing thirty pages, but it was all sorted out, and I purchased a new copy immediately.

We’ve been through so much with all these characters, and tomorrow will mark the final battle, our final journey with these characters.  Of course, it will never be over, as we will always have these books to reread as much as we like.

Of course, with every new battle come the dangers, meaning spoilers.  I’m going to be very cautious of spoilers this year.  I know I wasn’t spoiled badly for HoH, but there were a few people who were like, “Did you read about so and so?!”  And I would be like, “NO!  I haven’t gotten to that point yet!”

There will also probably be people who will intentionally post spoilers without giving any warning, which is why I’m going to try to stay as far away from the internet as possible for the next few days (though I know I’ll come crawling back XD).  Watch what you read, demigods.

I hope you remember your years with Percy and his friends fondly, and I’ll see you with a review of this brilliant author’s new book. :D

-littleonion

Cover Reveal: Frozen Hearts by Topaz Winters

Hello, everyone!  How are you?  Today, I am thrilled to share with you the cover reveal of Topaz Winter’s debut novel, Frozen Hearts.  I’m so happy for Topaz, and I can’t wait to read this book! :D   She’s such a talented writer, and her writing is perfection. :D

Okay… are you ready for the reveal?  It’s so gorgeous.  Here we go…

Frozen HeartsIsn’t it gorgeous?!  This is such a great cover, I can’t even deal, guys.  Seriously.  Check out the synopsis below.  :)

About the Book

“Rose, don’t try to tell me what’s real or not real. I live and breathe impossibilities.”

Rosalyn Lawrence is not the type of girl who strays from the norm. She’s not the type of girl who goes on whirlwind adventures or travels across the world and beyond or fights fire-breathing dragons to the death. After all, fairytales exist only in books, and Rosalyn is happy to keep it that way.

But when her beloved little brother Benjamin disappears, Rosalyn’s entire world comes crashing down. Then a boy with a wand climbs through her window and she learns that the grieving queen of a shockingly desolate enchanted land has abducted Benjamin. If she chooses to be sucked into the magic of this land, its power – and the power of an enemy she isn’t quite sure even exists – could destroy her. 

A world of frozen fantasy is waiting for Rosalyn – and if she will succeed in bringing Benjamin home, she must learn how to trust herself, use her wits, and perhaps discover an inner magic she never knew she had.

Excerpt:

Rosalyn woke in the middle of the night.

Her head was clouded, cobwebs of sleep still lingering, a fog drifting over her senses. The surface she was lying on was soft. As she sat up she saw a figure, not quite near enough to touch, motionless on the floor. She couldn’t seem to recall his name.

As her eyes adjusted to the darkness she realised that his shirt was off and his back was to her, bare in the soft moonlight. She looked out the window. The stars seemed to glisten, impossibly dense confetti scattered over the blanket of night. The moon hung suspended as if from a child’s mobile.

She stood, moving closer to the figure on the floor. The rise and fall of his chest was almost imperceptible. His face was still just out of her line of sight, his name still just out of the grasp of her slumber-clouded memory.

In the moonlight she caught a glimpse of something on his back. Her fingers glided down to it and she traced it, feather light, afraid for reasons she could not fathom of waking him. The scar joined another and another, until all at once she realised that she was connecting a veritable constellation of pain across the canvas of his back.

She gazed down at them. They were old, she could tell, but they still looked painful. The skin was gnarled, as if some heavenly hand had reached down, ripped it off of his back, and then bunched it up and pasted it haphazardly back on – and she knew she should be horrified at the sight, knew she should be pitying him or turning away in revulsion, yet she could not bring herself to. All she felt was the inherent need to know: how had he gotten them? Did they still hurt?

Was Chase all right?

And there was his name, pulled from the graveyard of her memory: Chase. A boy with a crooked smile and a secret she’d never been meant to discover.

Somewhere in the back of her mind a deep voice with a cold accent surfaced, murmuring something about his father. What had he told her? She struggled to remember, and finally it hit her. “Let’s just say he wasn’t the best role model,” the voice had said.

The gashes were long healed, yet so deep, so thick and ragged that she almost didn’t want to think about who might have put them there – his father? she wondered, and then wished the thought had never crossed her mind.

She couldn’t bear to look at them for a moment longer. Turning away from his pockmarked body, she glanced up at the stars once more before climbing back into the small cot and letting sleep overtake her – an uneasy sleep, riddled with nightmares of long, thin sticks of ice, dark men and evil laughter, unbearable pain lacing through her back. This time the stars did not look like confetti, but teardrops.

In the morning, she would have no memory of her nighttime awakening.

And the boy lying across from her would never tell her that his eyes had been open the whole time.

Author Bio:

Topaz

TOPAZ WINTERS is a songbird, word hoarder, and cheesecake connoisseur. Sometimes she composes music. Other times she writes books. If she knows you, she’s probably written about you. Topaz’s debut novel, Frozen Hearts, drops this year, and her first album in 2015. She enjoys strong coffee, ugly cats, and the taste of words. 
 
Topaz rambles about writing, music, and the meaning of life over at her website.

What’s Up?

I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve posted, but that’s probably because I’m so used to posting on an almost daily basis.  But school has really been eating me alive. :O

I’ve been so busy with school and studying, that I haven’t had much time to read or blog much.  I’m in another reading slump, which sucks, but I’m trying to work my way out of it.  For now I’m going to be focusing on books I’m excited about rather than try to start any new series, so I’ll at least know that I’ll probably like the book I’m reading.

I’ve also been falling behind with catching up with other bloggers, which I love doing.  I love reading your blogs and reviews, and seeing what you’re up to.  Don’t think I’ve forgotten about your blog (or mine, for that matter!), because I haven’t. :D I’m really looking forward to whatever day off I have next so I can just chill and try to read or something.

Recently I was nominated for two awards, the One Lovely Blog Award by Rainbow Cakes and Rocky Road, and the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by alwaysopinionatedgirl.  Thank you guys so much for these nominations, it’s always exciting to receive a blogging award! :D

That’s all for now.  I wanted to write this short little post to update you guys on what’s been going on.  How are you doing?  What are some easy reads that have helped you get out of reading slumps?  And how do you manage your time between school and blogging?  Let me know!

-littleonion

One Lovely Blog Award

Hello, everyone, and happy Tuesday!  Today I’m going to be blogging about the One Lovey Blog Award, which I was nominated for by Yvo @ It’s All About Books and A.D. Martin @ A.D. Martin.  Thank you so much for the nominations!  I’ve never been nominated for this award until now, so I’m excited to participate. :D I won’t be nominating anyone this time around, unfortunately, as I know for some, they are busy with school and such.  But just know that you all have fantastic blogs and I love your content. :D

One lovely blogThe Rules:

1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. You must list the rules and display the award.
3. You must add 7 facts about yourself.
4. You must nominate 5-15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they’ve been nominated.
5. You must follow the blogger who nominated you.

Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s move onto some facts about me:

1. I learned to type when I was around nine or ten because my friends and I were all obsessed with this website where you could make a character and have virtual chats.  I can’t remember what it was called, but our lives pretty much revolved around that site!  And I remember being frustrated about thinking that I’d never learn to type, so it really helped me learn without making things too aggravating.

2. I go through short periods when all I’ll read is fanfiction.  These last for a few days, but I’ve found some great fanfics (mostly Harry Potter), that I remember to this day (I read them a few years ago).  Some of my favorites include:
The Heir to Prince Manor by Snapegirlkmf (find sequel here)
An Exquisite Pain by Not Enough Answers (find sequels here and here)

3. I usually never wear my hair down, especially in the summer.  I find that it always gets in the way!

4. I got my first electronic that I got to keep all to myself (other than the clunky radio I had) in 2007, and it was my Nintendo DS Lite, which I still own, and it still works. :D  This August marked my seven year anniversary for having this thing!  (PictoChat was also mine and my friends’ way of “texting” each other because we didn’t have phones. XD)

IMG_2680[1]

Still works! I got the “metallic pink” DS, and I never replaced it with any of the new ones. The game I have in it right now is Mario Kart, which I’ve successfully defeated. :D

5. I’ve never actually dropped my laptop until two seconds ago.  My laptop was on my sheets, and I was getting off the bed.  Unfortunately, my foot was caught in the sheets, and down fell my precious laptop. D: Luckily, all is well.

6. The first Harry Potter fanfiction I wrote was written so messily, I’m surprised I was even able to decipher it!  There were no paragraphs, no chapters, notes all in the margins.  Disastrous, haha.  But at least I was writing!  I kept it all in this portfolio and it made me feel very… authorly.

IMG_2682[1]I have a feeling this was when my Harry Potter obsession was at its peak! XD As you can see, I adorned this portfolio (I really wasn’t kidding when I said I kept my HP fanfics in a portfolio) with a bunch of the HP characters’ names in black Sharpie marker.  Yep.

IMG_2683[1]And these are the first drafts of my first Harry Potter fanfiction.  I wrote it all out by hand, because at the time, I didn’t own a laptop.  The first page I wrote on is dated 2/29/12.  I’m so glad to know that I at least dated the first page.  I was horrible about dating papers back then, which disappoints me because now when I look back on all this stuff, I’ll have no idea when it was written!  (Moral of this story: Date your papers!!!)

7. I enjoy knitting and crocheting, and though I haven’t crocheted in a very long time, I’ve been knitting myself a scarf every time I pop a DVD into my laptop.  It’s very relaxing!


That’s all for now, and thank you so much for this nomination!  I had fun making this post, and reading others’ posts on this award.

-littleonion

What Deems a Book as “Classic”?

I haven’t hid the fact that I don’t care much for classics, but I can’t really escape them.  I’ve read a few classics for school, and a few for fun.  But honestly?  I don’t feel like I’m missing anything with classics.  There are a few that I enjoyed, but the majority, I know I either won’t read them or probably won’t like.

The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill A Mockingbird, two of the only classics I liked.

The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill A Mockingbird, two of the only classics I liked.

There are several classics I’ve come across, and most of which I didn’t enjoy. I think I was around seven when I read my first classic, Black Beauty.  I wasn’t a fan.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was a classic on my summer reading list for 2013.  It has 180 pages.  Took me two weeks to read.

That’s a no…

And there are several others I read like Animal Farm, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest (I barely remember what happened in this play, but it’s something else I read last summer), Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and a few others that I read that I feel I could have lived without reading.  I remember a friend in school reading Around the World in Eighty Days, and I tried to read it because she was, but I wasn’t feeling it.

But what deems these books as “classics”?  Is there an official list?  (Probably not.)  Is it a matter of opinion?  I think so, though it seems like with most of these books, it’s common knowledge that they’re classics.  But I’ve spoken to people who don’t like them.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Do you like classics?  Or maybe you don’t.  Let me know!

Also I wanted to mention that Yvo @ It’s All About Books nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award!  Thank you so much for the nomination, Yvo. :D  I love the blogging awards, and it’s so nice that you guys consider me when you’re writing your responses. ^-^ I don’t know if I’ll have time to write a whole response to this post, as school is pretty intense this year, but I wanted to thank her for the nomination. :D  Hopefully I’ll have some free time one of these days and I’ll put together a post for this award!

-littleonion

Book Review: yolo by Lauren Myracle

yoloTitle: yolo

Series: Internet Girls, #4

Author: Lauren Myracle

Summary: Through texts and messages, the mega-bestselling, beloved Internet Girls series followed the ups and downs of school for three very different, very close friends. Now it’s freshman year of college for the winsome threesome, and *everything* is different. For one, the best friends are facing their first semester apart. Way, way apart. Maddie’s in California, Zoe’s in Ohio, and Angela’s back in Georgia. And it’s not just the girls who are separated. Zoe’s worried that Doug wants to break up now that they’re at different schools, and Maddie’s boyfriend, Ian, is on the other side of the country. In the face of change and diverging paths, Maddie’s got a plan to keep the friends close, and it involves embracing the present, making memories, and . . . roller derby! Using of-the-moment technology, Lauren Myracle brings her groundbreaking series into the brave new virtual world of texting and tweets. -Goodreads

Review:

**No spoilers!

I was really excited about this book’s release, and when I finally got it, I was so happy!  And yolo definitely did not disappoint.  I loved being submerged into these characters’ lives again, even though they’re off at college.  I was so happy that this book was a much better experience than the last Lauren Myracle book I read.  I had a feeling yolo would be good, just because I knew the series.  However, I did fear that this book was just thrown together for the heck of it.  It didn’t have that feel, though, so I was glad.

So Maddie, Angela, and Zoe are off to separate colleges in different states, but they still manage to keep up with each other on a regular basis.  Maddie and Angela are my favorite characters in this story.  Zoe on the other hand… meh.  She’s a very needy person, especially with her boyfriend, and she acknowledges it several times throughout ttfn; l8r, g8r; and yolo (haven’t read the first one yet :O Will get on it soon…).  But I feel like Zoe’s character went through a lot of development in this installment, which I was so happy for.  She also branched out and made some new friends at college, which I didn’t expect her to do.  I’m proud of her. :D

I really love Maddie.  I don’t want to go into too much detail about her, but she’s a pretty complex character, and I’d really love to see a book in her POV, because she seems like an interesting person to read about.  And if Lauren Myracle doesn’t have plans on doing something like this any time soon, someone write me a fanfiction! XD

I also like Angela, though she was a bit more wild in this book.  Then again, she and Maddie have always been the “wild” ones.  Zoe also kept an open mind (which she usually doesn’t), and I really liked her character development.  She’s still not one of my favorites, but she’s getting there. *thumbs up*

I like the ten year anniversary covers for these books, but I think I liked the old covers better:

ttylI really like the look of this cover.  It’s pretty simple, plus it kind of shows you where we were in technology back then (ttyl was published in 2004).  The emoticons are pretty pixilated, which I thought was cool.  The new covers are nice, but I feel like they lost their quirkiness.

Actually, technology was one of my biggest worries for yolo.  Let me explain.

When I read a book, I like to assume that it’s based in the year it was published in, unless otherwise stated.  I’d actually feel more comfortable if all books had a little note from the author that explained what year the book was set in, but since not all books do that, I like to make my own assumptions.

So, for ttyl, it was published in 2004.  So, I assume that our three main protagonists were in their sophomore year in high school in 2004, too.  The next book, ttfn, was published in 2006, which kind of complicated things for my mind, since we skipped a year, but that’s when the trio were in their junior year of high school.  And the third book, l8r, g8r, was published in 2007, which was their senior year.  So let’s say Maddie, Angela, and Zoe graduated high school in 2007.  Right after high school, they had their summer break, and then they went to college.  So, let’s assume that’s September of 2007.

I was hoping that yolo would stick with the technology of the time, rather than use today’s technology, but that didn’t happen, which was disappointing.  Maybe you’re thinking, “Who cares?”  I don’t even know if the last couple paragraphs made any sense, but it would have been a nice touch if it Lauren Myracle had stuck to the older technology rather than incorporate newer technology.  Nevertheless, it was still good.  Just something I was hoping for.

Anyway, this book really was fantastic!  5/5 stars, and I’m looking forward to more Lauren Myracle.  Perhaps a continuation of The Winnie Years is underway…? :D If so, let me get my money!!!