Defy (#1) by: Sara B. Larson (Jan. 7, 2014)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of Defy. This did not affect my honest review.
When reading Defy there was one thing that kept popping up into my head, “this book is trying too hard.” Defy tries sometimes with desperation to be the next best young adult fantasy novel. Although it has its positive attributes, there are a good handful of negative ones that it brings to the table as well.
Alexa is a strong female who has to disguise herself as a boy in order to survive and the prince is dreamy, but all the characters seem to fit into a stereotypical fantasy character mold, making none of them really all that unique. Even though the synopsis warns us of a love triangle I was hoping it wouldn’t bother me, but it wasn’t thrilling like the synopsis promised.
There are some cool magic and sword fighting scenes that lived up and somewhat surpassed my expectations, but those were the only real highlights of Defy. Sadly the whole book was pretty predictable and just seemed like it was trying too hard to win my attention. Not to mention that a few of the plot points seemed to make no sense to me and it felt like the author just added them in there for conflict or for whatever reason, but it just didn’t work.
Even though Defy wasn’t an epic fantasy, it still held my attention and I will probably read the second one, although this one ended okay if it were a standalone. Therefore, I guess I don’t know if and to who I would recommend this book to. If you are a big fantasy novel fan, I feel like you wouldn’t like this one as much since it doesn't add anything really new to the genre, but then again you never know. I guess I will just have to sign off by saying that if you skip past this one it wouldn't be a huge loss.