Red Queen

by Victoria Aveyard

Cover Beauty Score: 8 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 5 out of 5

Plot Blurb: Mare Barrow lives in a world where society is put into two classes - the servant class who is normal with red blood, and the ruling class who has special powers and silver blood. When she sneaks into the Silver's world to try and save her friend, she accidentally puts herself into a dangerous situation that reveals to the world that she has powers of her own. Desperate to conceal the fact that a Red has powers, the Silver royal family creates a lie that she is a long lost Silver daughter - betrothing her to their son. Mare is quickly torn between two lives and gets caught up in the pull of two worlds that are now a part of her.

My Reaction: Man did I blaze through that book! I started this one on Sunday, intending to make it last throughout the week... but after taking it to work yesterday to read through my lunch break, I became way too addicted to the storyline to stop. I binge read until I finished this puppy, and I wasn't disappointed!

The minute I first read Mare, she was ballsy and dark, with a perfect little sister that is her "little star." This had me wary, obviously feeling some Katniss from Hunger Games pretty strongly. But as events begin to happen to Mare, she begins to change in a way that Katniss never did. She began to realize the complexities of things and she has moral qualms when asked to kill callously for the rebellion. She struggles with the idea that not all of the Silvers are bad as she comes to know them individually as real people.

The writing itself was great - easy to read and well written. I get so excited when a book that is on the NYT Best Seller List actually can live up to its hype and not depress me about the state of the national reading level. Aveyard is an excellent story teller and her writing is top notch, giving the tone a raw and easy-to-relate feeling. That's incredibly important in YA novels - to be able to step into the shoes of the character so easily.

Can I just talk a minute about Mare's love interests? This girl didn't get a love triangle... oh no... she got three dudes fawning all over her. THREE! That's gotta be some kind of Young Adult record, right? Usually I hate it when we get the heroine emotionally picking between guys, but Aveyard was able to weave these believably until I didn't know where the story was going. Keeping that suspense was awesome and well done. If anything, this love square (see what I did there?) gave me a bit of a tip as to what was going to happen in the end. None of the love interests felt forced or unnatural, although I would have liked to see Mare and Kilorn's relationship a little more in the beginning. She had every geeky girl's dream going with the Thor vs Loki-- excuse me, I mean Cal vs Maven predicament. Who wouldn't want to be in between that tortured bromance? Like seriously... where do I sign up?

And overall, I loved the message of this book; don't believe lies just because they're easy or convenient. We should always question what others tell us or what we see and hear. It is our responsibility to make choices that reflect our own moral code. Not our parents or our friends. Ours alone.

So if you haven't figured it out by now, I definitely think you should read this one! Beautiful cover, good writing, awesome heroine, plenty of boy toys to choose from - it's a win, win, win, win, right?

My only problem now is having to wait 7 months for the sequel. Bleh.

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