December 30, 2013

Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

by Sara B. Larson
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press


A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

I don’t even know where to begin. This book has me so torn and emotional.

I really enjoyed Defy, but I did not love it. There actually came a point where I wanted to quit reading. It has such a strong start and great beginning, but then you get to the middle and it was almost like I was reading a total different book. The writing felt different, the characters changed, and there were so many secrets that were just thrown into the mix that I just could not connect with Damian.

I was so glued to the book and stayed up really late reading, but when Alex secret comes out I lost a little interest. I am not sure if it was the way it was handled, or if it came too soon in the story, I just did not have the urge to really pick it back up. But eventually I did and continued reading it because all my book buddies kept pushing me along and telling me I was going to end up really liking it.

Needless to say that they were right. I loved the ending, and all of the action. I loved how Alex did not give up and did what she had to do to survive and save the people she cared about. I especially loved the secret that is revealed in the final pages.

What I did not love was the romance. I honestly wish it was never a part of the story or that it wasn’t as consuming as it was. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it were done lightly. A little chemistry, a stare here or there, emotions never revealed, that kind of stuff. Even though the love triangle wasn’t done too badly, I still wasn’t happy with it. It felt almost like it was just thrown into the story to fill a spot. This is what has my emotions towards this book all over the place.

There is such a great story here and the world that Larson has created is unique and intriguing. I see why people are raving about it so much. I enjoyed it a lot, but wish it had stayed consistent. The beginning and ending matched perfectly, but the middle was eh, just okay.

3.5 Stars!


  1. I think a lot of people were not crazy about the romance. But even with it, I really enjoyed the plot and the world building. Thanks for the review and glad you kept reading it.

    1. I guess I had a big issue with it because it did not feel real to me. I questioned everything Damian did and truly believed he was only using her and manipulating her until the very end of the book. I felt the romance was a lie. But aside from that, the world building was great and so was the action! There's a great story here and I will still read the second in the series. Especially now that I am certain of Damian's feelings. LOL! Not sure if it was the authors goal to confuse readers like that or not.

    2. I have not read this book, but I do know of some books where I had similar problems with this situation. I am glad you finished the book and enjoyed the ending. Great review!

      P.S. For me the romance has to be the one thing intact in a book.


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