St. Clair is the third book in the Gives Light series and in my opinion it’s the most heart breaking book. People who know me will know I love this series. For me, it’s the greatest YA series I have ever read and Skylar and Rafael are my favourite YA couple and on my top ten list of favourite couples. But for those who have no idea about the series I would encourage them to give it a go, even if you don’t like YA.
This book was a really emotional journey for me. Not only did Skylar have to deal with some pretty major – and scary – health issues. But he also had a lot of growing up to do when it came to his dad. I was waiting and waiting for him to finally snap and for something really bad to happen to him. But Skylar is a strong character and he had Rafael. I should have known Rafael was enough to keep him sane, but I also would have understood things becoming too much for him.
Skylar’s dad had a big role in this. He made a huge sacrifice for the people of Nettlebush. When the place he called home and the people he called family were in danger, he did something that gained my respect. It was something he had to do, and although it broke Skylar’s heart he did it anyway. I was not expecting it, so it did surprise me. I would not have pegged Paul as being that strong. His character was one I thought a lot about in the other two books and he didn’t grow on me as quickly as Catherine did. But in this book he really did worm his way into my heart. And I am really glad I didn’t write him off.
“I honored our traditions. I honored my wife and child. I did what our ancestors told us to do.” Dad looked at me through his winter-water eyes like they were the veil that hung between us. “I don’t regret that.”
Rafael’s dad was a part of this story. I think he was always going to come back and haunt them again, but the way he came back was shocking, heart-breaking, and realistic. I should have known that something would happen. The fact things had been looking so well should have been a sign that this author was not finished delivering blows yet. When she delivered this one, I was definitely left wondering if Skylar would survive, and if he did, would he be the same character I had grown to love? But Skylar’s cancer story line was written so beautifully. It brought out some of the real emotion that these books have. It also kept Rafael’s dad in the story without his character actually being present. That is something that doesn’t usually happen in books. Especially when it’s one of the bad guys.
The scanner buzzed and banged; my ears went numb. It sounded like death. I’d never thought of death as something audible before.
Skylar and Rafael didn’t fall apart after the diagnosis which was nice. They are still a young couple in this book, and sometimes in real life it would tear a couple apart. But Skylar and Rafael are not your average, everyday couple. They are one of those couples that might take some time to grow on you, but once you let them in and start rooting for them, you will never be disappointed. They are one of the strongest couples I have ever read. I’m not talking about YA couples. I’m talking about in all the books I have read. These two are pretty much in my top three for strong couples. They lasted and they lasted well. They overcame their issues together and nothing was able to tear them apart. And this book definitely tested them as a couple, but they were able to come out on top as strong as ever.
“I guess I’ve always loved you,” he said.
Rafael really turned into a man in this book, and while it was lovely to see, it was also kind of sad for me. It was like letting go of the boy and accepting the man he had started to become. He went from a boy who had little knowledge about what he was going to do with himself to a man who knew what he was going to do. That was all because of Skylar and their relationship. He had a dream, one that involved helping Skylar, and it was sweet to see him excited about helping him with his voice.
I still loved the secondary characters, especially Catherine. Catherine definitely became a favourite character of mine. Not just in the series, but in general. She will always have a special little place in my heart. All of the characters came together when they were needed and it was heart-warming and beautiful to witness. Relationships grew and things changed. As far as secondary characters go, I don’t think I’ve ever grown as fond of a group of secondary characters as I did in this series. All of them have their place and they all brought something important to the story.
I am going to say it again, I highly recommend this series to everyone. It has stolen my heart, and given the chance could do the same to many others.My review of St. Clair can also be found on Greedy Bug Book Reviews.