2.5 stars because I couldn't decide between two or three.The extent of my love/hate relationship with this book can’t be explained properly with words. I was excited to read it after I read The Giver because I loved that book. I figured the next book in the series would arouse the same love, but that’s not so, it would seem.The first book in the series was slow, but still entirely interesting and I was very prepared for the same type of experience in the second. Gathering Blue is slow, that’s true, but when it comes to interestingness I felt like it went through phases of interesting and boring, hence the love/hate relationship. What do you say about a book you’re on the fence about?For these reasons I’m confused as to what I should rate it, let alone how I should feel about it in the grand scheme of things. I’m thinking it may be one of those books that you have to read a second time to really appreciate and collect all the information. Obviously the story was interesting to some extent if I want to read the next book, but I’m currently wondering how exactly it’s all going to be tied together, and if I’ll enjoy it. Of course, that curiosity is what will propel me farther into the story (and the quartet of books).In other news, I really liked the characters. They’re dynamic and all have their own reasons to be loved (or hated!). I loved that the main character wasn’t whiney but was still able to acknowledge that her life could be easier… and then when her life was made “easier” she had the very human reaction of homesickness. The other characters were wonderful too and I’m hoping they’re in the next book(s).For the most part I don’t regret taking the time to read this book, but I’m seriously hoping I like the next book more than I did this one. Gathering Blue wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t capturing my attention the way I thought it would. Perhaps in the future I’ll give it another try and see if nothing has changed in the way I feel about it.