March 17, 2014

We Started This Thing Together

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins | Harper Teen
Pages: 400 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover
Series: Under the Never Sky #3
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do - and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission - because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

Thoughts on Into the Still Blue
I think this is one of the first series conclusions where I truly felt like I was able to confidently say that I think most fans of this series will be pleased by the ending Rossi has written. That's not to say it isn't an emotional or heart-breaking journey getting there, but I do feel like Rossi delivers an ending that's true to everything she wrote up this point. While there will always be readers who are disappointed in a series finale, I think this is one of the stronger endings I've read recently.

It had been almost a year since I read Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night, so I decided to re-read the first two books before diving into this one. I'm really glad that I did because it totally got me invested in these characters and their journey. Sometimes I forget how much I loved the previous books in a series when a lot of time has passed before I read the final book. If possible, I enjoy re-reading leading up to the series ending - not because I can't remember what happened but because I'm more invested in the story when I do.

There have been so many polarizing series endings in YA lately, and it was refreshing to read a complete series that felt so strong, so consistent and so readable. I can see so many readers falling in love with these books! Into the Still Blue picks up where Through the Ever Night ends, and you're immediately thrown into the high-stakes race to find the Still Blue. What I really appreciate about these books is the way the plot had a lot of action but there was still so much emotion in the story. Rossi doesn't sacrifice one for the other, and I was so pleased that she managed to use the plot to highlight the characters' growth and their emotional ties. It's not just about the what because the who matters, too.

One of the strengths in this series are the well-developed characters and their relationships with one another. These characters felt so believable and realistic, even in this science fiction-y setting. I loved Aria and Perry's relationship, as well as her friendship with Roar. There is a lot of pain, grief and heartache in this book, but I also felt so hopeful reading it because I felt like these three would always be there for one another. Even when the characters are fighting or distanced, there's still that feeling that they have such solid relationships.

There were a few things about this plot that dragged just a bit for me, but I still felt like it was an enjoyable read. It didn't blow me away, but I was pleased by how it all wrapped up. Into the Still Blue was a fitting goodbye to these characters I'd come to love, and I felt like Rossi had an overall vision for her story the entire time she was writing. I think that's one reason I really appreciate this series - it's so consistent across all three books (a difficult thing to accomplish). If you loved the first two books, I think you'll enjoy this bittersweet conclusion! It's not my favorite YA series ever, but I can see myself recommending this so many readers.

So Quotable
"What I was trying to say," he whispered, "is that I see you in everything. There isn't a word for you that means enough, because you're everything to me."

6 comments:

  1. Great review! I had the same thoughts as you about Rossi having a very mapped out idea of the story from the beginning. I went back and read the first book before I read Into the Still Blue and I think having done that it was even more apparent because so much of was in the first book tied into the final book.

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    1. I'm so glad you agree! I was so glad I re-read the first two books for the exact reasons you mentioned. I was able to really appreciate the way she mapped out and plotted everything. It all tied together SO well!

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  2. I thought this was an awesome end to the series.... it wasn't all rainbows and characters really struggled, but I felt the ending was very realistic and satisfying as a reader! I've read so many crappy series enders lately, but this one was refreshing. Exactly what I needed it to be. I am gunna miss those characters so much though. :( I'm excited to check out Rossi's NA novel!!

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    1. I felt the same way! I'm not surprised this ending has been more well received by readers. I think a huge reason why is that Rossi had a clear plan for her books. There was tension and heartbreak in the end, but it all felt very cohesive and fit so well into the rest of the series. I'm so sad it's over, too! WAHHH. But I'm so curious about her NA novel, too. Scared a little but still totally curious!

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  3. Lovely review! I totally agree. This was one of the best series enders I've read in a LONG time. Veronica Rossi totally nailed it. She kept things consistent but still exciting. Her characters grew but still stayed true to who they were. It was so touching and exciting and emotional! Definitely ended on a great note.

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    1. Oh yay! I'm so glad you agree. I think Rossie was SO consistent without ever becoming boring, which is such a testament to her talent.

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