Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jane's Reviews: Defy by Sarah B. Larson

It's time for another edition of Jane's Reviews! This is the series where I invite my sister onto A Splash of Ink to review some YA books. She's been here before and reviewed The Falconer by Elizabeth May. Let's leave her lots of nice comments and give her a warm welcome. *insert virtual clapping here*

Today's book is Defy by Sarah B. Larson. Here's what you need to know about it:



I was a little leery about reading this book due to the fact that the synopsis focused so heavily on a love triangle. Since, I’m getting a little tired of constant love triangles in YA books, I was a little worried that this fantasy novel, with a really cool idea, would fall flat. Fortunately, the love triangle gets resolved fairly early in the book, which was a relief.

The reason why I loved this book as much as I did is because it was a good old fashioned fantasy novel. It reminded a lot of the Alanna series by Tamora Peirce which I had read years ago and quite enjoyed. The idea of a girl disguising herself as a boy to survive in a world where being a girl, especially a girl from a poor family, means being sent to the Breeding House (which by the way is as horrible as it sounds) is oddly intriguing and fascinating.

This disguised gender plot line could have gone two ways. Alex could be really butch and hardly feminine, or she could be extremely feminine and not masculine at all, in which case you’re left feeling that all the guys must be really stupid not notice. You could spend the rest of the book feeling this towards the other characters,


Fortunately Larson has the perfect blend. Alex is able to take care of herself and hold her own with her fellow soldiers. You believed that, generally, no one would notice. Alex didn't have it easy, and she had to work twice as hard as the guys; it made it more believable. I also liked that Larson, acknowledged the fact that it got harder and harder for Alex to disguise herself as a guy the older she got. Although Alex is described as not being blessed with curves, she is still a woman and is starting to look like a woman. It isn't long before some of the characters figure out that she’s a girl. The way that Larson writes Alex's disguise is believable, and smart.

The idea of doing whatever you have to do to survive is a running theme throughout the book. Alex is faced with the choice of accepting her horrible fate or changing her destiny. I was left with the question, how far would I go to survive?

All together, I thoroughly enjoyed Defy, and I will definitely read the next book in the series.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sunny here for the closing remarks.
Have you read Defy? What did you think of it? Thoughts, comments? Let us know what you're thinking!

Also, I'd like to thank Anna Ideline from Butterflies of the Imagination for nominating me for the Sunshine Award and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. It was very thoughtful of you, and I'm so honored.

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good book. I'll have to add it to my ever growing to read list... As if I really need another one on there. No wait, what am I talking about? Of course I need another book on my to read list. Sheesh, I don't know what I was thinking there for a second. A close brush with reality I guess, well good thing it passed quickly. Now on to some more reading... :)

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    1. Haha, I have lots to read as well! I'm always adding to my every-growing pile.

      Thanks for reading my review!

      -Jane

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  2. That's such a cool sounding book. I have a strange love affair with girls dressing up as boys (like Mulan!). I can't wait to find this book and read it some time. Hopefully my library has it. (I shall be very grumpy if it doesn't.)

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    1. I hope your library gets it! It's well worth the read. My sister Sunny enjoys Mulan, as well, haha (maybe a little too much).

      -Jane

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  3. I really enjoyed Defy back when I read it, though I had a few problems with it! I LOVE it when girls dress up like guys to defend their countries and everything...

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    1. I too had some problems with it, but I enjoyed it anyways. And I also love it when girls dress up like boys and kick some butt :P

      -Jane

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