Defy by Sara B. Larson

Posted January 5, 2014 by Carole in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Defy by Sara B. Larson
Scholastic Press
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Date Read: January 5, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure, I received an advance reader edition
of this book from Scholastic Press and Net Galley for the purpose of
providing an honest review.

I am having a really hard time
deciding how to rate this book. On one hand, I love the premise of the
story but I find the execution somewhat lacking. I would have to say
that is a 2.5 out of 5 star read for me. I do understand that as a
mother of 2 teenage girls, my daughters are the more likely targeted
audience for this novel even though I read and enjoy lots of YA titles.

and her twin brother Marcus find themselves orphaned at the beginning
of the book. They decide that Alexa will pose as a male, Alex, and
serve in the king’s army alongside her brother. If the fact that Alex
is female is ever discovered, she would be forced into one of the king’s
breeding houses. Alex is an excellent fighter and is assigned as one
of Prince Damian’s guards.

The beginning of the book was not
completely original as anyone who has seen Mulan knows but it was
promising. I enjoyed the first 40% of the book or so although it did
have some issues. The major issue was that Alex acted like a girl. How
she was able to fool everyone for years is beyond me.

Then the
book shifted. It almost felt like the author had a checklist that she
was following on how to write a YA novel… triangle…check.
Really, was the love triangle necessary? Did it further the plot at
all? The only thing that the love triangle did in my opinion is ruin
any chance this book had of being enjoyable. Instead of the tough girl
who will fight to stay alive and for what is right, she became the girl
who just wants the boy to like her and to not hurt anyone’s feelings.
This love triangle seemed very forced to me and I could not for the life
of me figure out how she had attracted either of the men.

end of the book went back to having a lot of action and I felt that
those scenes were where the better parts of the book. This story had
the potential to be an awesome book if the author had focused on Alex,
the tough survivor. I have seen this book described as a fantasy novel
and I would disagree on that. Just because a book has a few castles and
a little magic does not mean that it should be considered a fantasy.
This book should be labeled romance because that is what it is.

do feel that this book may have an audience but that audience is
definitely not me. I do see that this is a planned series but I don’t
think I will be reading any future books in this series.