Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.
Reading The Golden Lily was so different from reading Bloodlines. When I read Bloodlines, I hadn't read any of the VA books. But between reading that book, and reading The Golden Lily, I read them all. So I was a little more versed in the world of the Moroi, Strigoi, Dhampirs and Alchemists. You can read this series without having read VA. But it is a different experience to have that background. What I Liked: 1) Sydney. I liked her way better in this one than I had in the last. I remember in Bloodlines I felt like Sydney was so alone all the time. She's opened up more, and is more willing to be social. I guess the best way to put it would be that she's learned a little more about social graces. She also isn't as hesitant around the vampires as she was in the first, which is part of the reason she wasn't as isolated. 2) Adrian. Adrian, Adrian, Adrian! I didn't really care for Adrian in the VA books, and I tolerated him in Bloodlines. Oh, but this one, he just kinda made me melt. Seriously. And I could tell where his feelings were, and the subject of his affection was so oblivious, and it just made me giggle! I mean, it was soooooo obvious! I can tell there are going to be some complications with that in the near future! 3) Sonya and Dmitri's science project. If you've read Bloodlines you'll know about the weird stuff that happened during the Strigoi attack at the end of the book. Well, Dmitri and Sonya are on a MISSION to find out why that happened. They are doing all sorts of experiments to see if there is something more they can glean from the outcome. I loved seeing all of this go on, because it just made me even more curious about where the series is going to go. 4) We were introduced to a new group in this book. An ancient offshoot of the Alchemists, the Vampire Hunters are out for blood. Just when I start to think I know all the major players, Richelle Mead throws someone new into the story. I can always appreciate the loops that we're thrown. 5) Jill and Angeline. These two are kind of the comic relief of the story. Between Jill's bizarre moods toward Sydney (if you can't figure out what that's all about, you just aren't having enough fun in showbiz!) and Angeline's outbursts of emotion...yeah. These two add the humor that the story needs to maintain a balance of heavy and light.
What I Didn't Like: The only thing I can complain about now is that I need the next book now!!!
Overall Thoughts: The Golden Lily took all of the things I have loved about Bloodlines and the VA series, and just made them better. The characters are becoming more real, the plot gets more twisted, and everything just gets more fun! Sydney has become a more likeable person, and Adrian is definitely going on my list of book loves! The Golden Lily is a wonderful addition to this intriguing world, and I think everyone who likes the vampire subgenre in paranormal should check out this series!