Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 236
Genre: Romance, Adventure, Young Adult
Rating: 4.5/5
Source Netgalley

Alexa Hollen is not an ordinary girl. In fact, for all her friends know, she isn’t a girl.

When Alexa and her twin brother, Marcel’s parents were murdered, the two were forced into lying about their identity, and that “Alex” was actually a girl. Now the twins live in Antion and guard the spoilt Prince Damian. But even though Alex is the best of the guards, she is no match for the powerful sorcerer who kidnaps her, fellow guard Rylan, and Damian, and takes them to Blevon, an enemy country.

The longer they’re held in Blevon, the more secrets are revealed, and Alexa’s is at risk of being divulged. It is only a matter of time before everyone else figures out what she has been hiding for the past 3 years. But there is a bigger problem; King Hector, Damian’s father, has been ruling his land with a cruel heart. An end needs to be put to his reign, but it won’t be an easy task. Alexa will need all the help she can get, but will she be strong enough to protect everyone she loves?

Alexa is an amazing character to read about. I found myself completely captivated as I read about her adventures throughout this book. One thing that I really liked about this heroine is how caring, loyal and brave she is. Not only is she loyal to her friends and family, but Alexa will sacrifice everything she has to save them.

Although the author did a good job presenting Alexa, Damian and Rylan’s characters seem inconsistent. Larson portrays Rylan as a nice, kind and thoughtful boy in the beginning of the book. But after that, it feels as if Larson couldn’t have cared what Rylan did; through the middle and end, Rylan began to fade out of the story and loses importance. Again, in the beginning Larson makes Damian seem as if a spoilt brat, but in the span of a page he becomes a sympathetic and righteous figure. Let me say, this was incredibly hard to believe. How could someone’s whole character change in just a few pages?

‘Defy’ is a splendid book. The relationships between the characters were well thought out, the plot was full of mystery.  There was some interest-piquing suspense, and throughout the story there was always one secret that was hinted at. But my favorite part of the plot is Alexa’s secret. I found it quite exciting reading about how Alexa tried to keep the truth of her gender from her coworkers.

The romance plot in this book was stunning as well. It wasn’t overpowering, but it wasn’t a minor part of the story either. The feelings that Damian and Rylan have for Alexa are clearly portrayed. And then, of course, there is Alexa’s confusion on who she should pick of the two. But even though the love triangle worked exceeding well in ‘Defy’, there was still a part of me that was annoyed Larson had to use such a cliché to bring some romance to this book. Everything else in this book creatively portrayed, yet the structure of the romance is ordinary.

Altogether, ‘Defy’ is an excellent book about a girl who must strive to protect the kingdom she loves. If you love romance, adventure or young adult books this is a book you must read. People younger than 13 won’t want to read this book because of language coupled with the breeding houses and violence that occurs. The next book in this series is to be released in 2015.

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